Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Microsoft is following Amazon and IBM to ban the sale of facial recognition technology to U.S. police

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) said Thursday that it will no longer sell its facial recognition technology to the United States police until legislation governing its use is enacted at the federal level, the Washington Post reported.

What happened

“We will not sell facial recognition technology to the United States police until we put in place a national, human rights-based law that will govern that technology,” said the Microsoft president Brad Smith, according to the Post.

The tech company will also curb the use of the controversial technology, said Smith.

The Microsoft president has not said whether the company will continue to sell to other government departments, including US immigration and customs officials, the message said.

Why is it important

Facial recognition is used by businesses for a number of purposes, including allowing users to unlock their phones or other electronic devices and automatically tag friends in social media photos.

The use of the technology by government officials has been controversial due to its inaccuracy, particularly with regard to people of color, reported the MIT Technology Review in December.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Thursday that it will stop selling its facial recognition technology to police for a year.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) previously indicated that it is abandoning its similar technology for the time being.

Price action

Microsoft stocks closed almost 5.4% lower at $ 186.27 on Thursday. The shares rose 1.2% during the after-hours session to $ 188.43.

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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