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IBM will no longer offer facial recognition or analysis software

By Ken Wong - on 10 Jun 2020, 1:55pm

IBM will no longer offer facial recognition or analysis software

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna

In an open letter to both the United States Congress and Senate, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna cited the recent deaths of Black Americans in police custody and concerns over the pursuit of justice and racial equity as the reason IBM will no longer offer general-purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software.

While no explanation as to the timing of the decision was given, the letter called for the US Government to work together with the company in the areas of police reform, the responsible use of technology, and broadening skills and educational opportunities.

Krishna also called for new federal rules to hold police more accountable for misconduct and to adopt measures to encourage or compel states and localities to review and update use-of-force policies.

According to a Reuters report, a person familiar with the matter told them that the facial recognition product decisions were made over a period of months. The company will no longer market, sell or update the products but will support clients as needed, the person added.

The report added that IBM was no longer developing, creating, researching or selling facial recognition products in application programming interface or any other form and that their visual technology would be limited only to visual object detection, not for facial analysis and identification.


Usage still popular

While IBM may be halting the use, facial recognition is still popular in Asia with it being used to unlock apps on the phone, grant access to buildings post Covid-19, and the development of AI.

Source: Reuters, IBM

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