Microsoft Prohibits US Police from Using Its AI for Facial Recognition

  • Editor
  • May 7, 2024

Microsoft has reinforced its commitment to Ethical Artificial Intelligence use by extending a ban on the use of its Azure OpenAI Service for facial recognition purposes by U.S. police departments.

This policy revision, announced last Wednesday, explicitly prohibits law enforcement from employing this technology in ways that could potentially infringe on public privacy or exacerbate racial Biases.

The recent update to Microsoft’s terms of service clearly bans any integrations of Azure OpenAI Service with facial recognition technologies in “uncontrolled, in-the-wild” environments, particularly targeting real-time applications on mobile devices like body cameras and dashcams.

As soon as this news broke online, people around the world started sharing their views and concerns related to it. Some said the US police department has their own funds, and they can build new software on their own.

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This decision follows public scrutiny over the potential misuse of AI in law enforcement, notably after Axon, a technology provider for security forces, launched a product that utilizes OpenAIs GPT-4 model to process audio from body cameras.

Critics have raised concerns that these AI applications could perpetuate racial disparities, as data shows that people of color are disproportionately stopped by police.

While some seemed critically reviewing this entire matter.

Candice Ling, SVP of Microsoft’s government-focused division, Microsoft Federal, stated that the updated terms of service are designed to ensure that Microsoft’s AI tools enhance public safety without compromising civil liberties.

Privacy advocates have applauded the move as a significant step toward safeguarding individual rights against the backdrop of increasingly pervasive surveillance technologies.

Even some took to their Reddit accounts to criticize the police department.

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However, the ban has also sparked debate among law enforcement professionals, some of whom argue that restricting access to advanced artificial intelligence tools might hinder their ability to ensure public safety effectively.

Some seemed to criticize Microsoft for taking this step.

They stress the importance of leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance their operational capabilities within the bounds of privacy and fairness.

For more news and insights, visit AI News on our website.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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