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Microsoft Follows Amazon, IBM To Ban Sale Of Facial Recognition Technology To US Police

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  • MSFT
  • IBM
  • AMZN

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) on Thursday said it will no longer sell its facial recognition technology to police departments in the United States until a law regulating its use is enacted at the federal level, the Washington Post reported.

What Happened

"We will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology," Microsoft President Brad Smith said, according to the Post.

The technology veteran company will also put further checks on the use of the controversial technology, Smith added.

The Microsoft president didn't say whether the company will continue selling to other government departments, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the post noted.

Why It Matters

Facial recognition is used by companies for wide uses, including letting users unlock their phones or other electronic devices and automatically tagging friends in social media photos.

The technology's use by government officials has been controversial due to its inaccuracy, especially when it comes to people of color, the MIT Technology Review reported in December.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) on Thursday said it will stop selling its facial recognition technology to police departments for a year.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) earlier noted that it was abandoning its similar technology for all use for the time being.

Microsoft Price Action

Microsoft shares closed nearly 5.4% lower at $186.27 on Thursday. The shares were up 1.2% in the after-hours session at $188.43.

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