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Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the use of facial recognition technology developed by an Israeli startup it funded complies with its ethics principles, the company said.
Axar.az reports citing Reuters.
AnyVision, based outside Tel Aviv, has come under scrutiny following reports by Haaretz’s TheMarker business newspaper and NBC News that its technology is used to surveil Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank.
AnyVision, which denied to NBC such use of its services, did not respond to a request for comment.
The probe reflects growing unease about facial recognition surveillance in the United States and elsewhere that civil liberties groups say could lead to unfair arrests and limit freedom of expression.
Microsoft announced facial recognition ethics principles last year, saying the company would “advocate for safeguards for people’s democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe will put these freedoms at risk.”
Microsoft said in a statement that Holder would lead a team from law firm Covington & Burling to conduct the probe. Holder, the top U.S. legal official under former President Barack Obama, was hired by Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) in 2017 to review claims of sexual harassment.
He did not immediately return a request for comment.
2019.11.16 / 11:33