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Microsoft President Urges Government Regulation of Facial Recognition Technology

MICROSOFT president, Brad Smith, has called on U. S. lawmakers to regulate facial recognition technology and enshrine regulations of its use into law to protect citizens from loss of privacy.

“We believe Congress should create a bipartisan expert commission to assess the best way to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in the United States,” Smith wrote in a blog post.

Smith said while Microsoft appreciates the calls for companies to make decisions over facial recognition, it is more sensible to ask an elected government to oversee face recognition technology.

“Facial recognition technology raises issues that go to the heart of fundamental human rights protections, like privacy and freedom of expression,” Smith wrote.

At the same time, Smith raised the spectre of a government able track citizens wherever they went without their permission or knowledge.

“Imagine a database of everyone who attended a political rally – that constitutes the very essence of free speech,” he said. “Imagine the stores of a shopping mall using facial recognition to share information with each other about each shelf that you browse and product you buy, without asking you first.

“This has long been the stuff of science fiction and popular movies — like Minority Report, Enemy of the State and 1984 but it’s on the verge of becoming possible.”

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