Sept 13 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said Friday that the company has turned down government requests for facial recognition software in cases where it fears misuse and will never sell the technology for surveillance.
"We won't sell facial recognition services for the purposes of mass surveillance anywhere in the world," Smith said, during an interview with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler in New York.
Microsoft has called for stronger regulation of facial recognition technology, which has been used in China to track ethnic minorities. Smith stopped short for calling for an outright ban on the technology, saying that Microsoft believes it has valid uses and has argued that governments should move faster to regulate it.
"It's hard to innovate if you can't use something, and it's hard to learn if you can't innovate," Smith said. (Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, editing by Louise Heavens)