IBM Exits Facial Recognition Business, Calls for Police Reform 


IBM will cease offering facial recognition software and oppose any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling.

International Business Machines Corp revealed on Monday that it would no longer offer facial recognition or analysis software in a letter to Congress calling for new efforts to advance justice and racial equity, with new chief executive Arvind Krishna said.

Krishna said the company would stop offering facial recognition software and oppose the use of any such technology for mass surveillance and racial profiling purposes.

IBM Exits facial Recognition Business, Calls for Police Reform

IBM did not clarify the timing of its decision to opt-out of the development of facial recognition but Krishna told lawmakers “now is the time whether facial recognition technology is employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

The announcement followed as the United States protested with nationwide protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, under police custody in Minneapolis, and a growing call for police reform.

Krishna wrote, “IBM strongly opposes and will not use any technology, including facials recognition technology offered by other vendors, including monitoring, racial profiling, violation of basic human rights and freedom.” Protect communities but should not promote discrimination or racial injustice. “

IBM Exits facial Recognition Business, Calls for Police Reform

Government officials around the country have proposed reforms to address police brutality and racial injustice aimed at increasing surveillance by law enforcement agencies.

Krishna, the chief architect of IBM’s $ 34 billion (about Rs 2.56 lakh crore), took over the Red Hat acquisition last year as the chief executive.

CNBC reported that IBM’s Facial Recognition business has not made significant earnings. A person familiar with the case told Reuters that facial recognition product decisions were made over a period of months. The company will no longer sell or update products in the market but will support customers as needed.

IBM is no longer developing, manufacturing, researching, or selling facial recognition products in application programming interfaces or any other form. IBM’s visualization technology will be limited only to visual object detection, not to facial analysis and identification, to which the person is paired.


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