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Why technology companies want to regulate facial recognition

Why technology companies want to regulate facial recognition

Technology companies are increasingly asking more insistently to regulate facial recognition, a technology with multiple edges.

The facial recognition technology There is increasing consensus on one aspect among the big technology companies in Silicon Valley. And this point is none other than the need for regulation.

The vice president of public policy for Amazon Web Services, Michael Punke, has been the last to give voice to this feeling. Before it was Microsoft, hand in hand with its chief legal officer, Brad Smith, who expressed himself in favor of establishing a regulatory framework for facial recognition. He told the Redmond giant that more attention must be paid to the restrictions that coercive powers should have to use technology.

In general, the demands of Microsoft and Amazon focus on regulate facial recognition in order to prevent abuse. One has to put in place the means to prevent segmentation based on race or gender. But you also need to let people know when the technology is being used on them.

Amazon’s Punke has indicated that his company supports a national legislative initiative with an adequate framework for protect the individual rights of people and ensuring that governments are transparent in their use of facial recognition.

There is no doubt that the underlying issue is more complex. Amazon has positioned itself in recent years as a leader in artificial intelligence and facial recognition. Its Rekognition tool has been actively spreading to customers of various kinds, including government agencies.

Precisely the controversy was sown as a result of the purchase by US government agencies of the Rekognition program. And this is an undesirable scenario for the big technology companies, who want to market their products.

Maturation leads to regulation

Regulating facial recognition does not come as a sudden occurrence. Actually, it is a maturation process. As this takes place, it is necessary to lay the foundations of what can and cannot be done with a technology. Being clear about this framework is something that interests technology developers. And, how could it be otherwise, among them are the big technology companies.

Facial recognition has multiple benefits. Some of them just they mean to simplify verification actionsof a person’s identity. Unlock the phone or pay are two applications based on this ability. But you can also verify a person’s identity at airports or in places where an official document is usually needed.

However, no one is unaware that facial recognition also has a disturbing aspect. Misuse of technology can lead to implement strong surveillance systems. That is why a movement has emerged to limit or control the power of facial recognition.

Tech companies want the rules to be clear. An exemplary demonstration, which highlights Telefónica’s position on privacy, has been a facial recognition application that, through Artificial Intelligence executed from the Edge, instantly decides whether the face it has recognized can be revealed or not based on whether the user has given his consent to do so. This is related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Images: Kyle Glenn, freestocks.org