Technology giant IBM wants the US government to regulate facial recognition technology instead of banning it outright. The company on Tuesday weighed on the policy debate over the technology it suggesting “Precision regulation”. This will restrict potential attacks while leaving room for innovation.
“The same technology used in different situations by different users should be governed by different rules”, Christina Montgomery, IBM’s chief privacy officer, and Ryan Hagemann, co-director of IBM Policy lab said. “Not all technology lumped under the umbrella of facial recognition is the same”, IBM argued on the white paper posted on its website. “It simply does not make sense to subject a smartphone and a police body camera to the same regulatory treatment”.
The comments come amid intense debate over the application of the Facial Recognition technology in security and law enforcement, among others. A handful of cities including San Francisco have already banned the municipal use of technology while private activists have called for better guarantees against errors and bias.
In the white paper, IBM outlined three policies to help regulate facial recognition: requiring notice and consent, implementing export controls, and mandating transparency from law enforcement. The technology is on its way to becoming pervasive in airports and public places while some companies like Amazon are selling it to police departments.
Amazon recently revealed its support for facial recognition while Microsoft asked the federal government to regulate the technology before going widespread, calling for new laws to avoid a “dystopian future”.
Earlier this year, IBM stirred controversy by using Flicker photo shared under a Creative Commons license as part of a collection to train its AI Facial Recognition technology. The data is available only to academic researchers through a project called Diversity in Faces and intends to counter bias that can undermine AI fairness, the company said.
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