IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced that the company will not tolerate the use of any technology, including facial recognition technology that it offers to other vendors, whose use is for mass surveillance, racial profiling, restriction of basic human rights and freedoms, and in general any other purpose that is not consistent with the principles of trust and transparency that IBM manages. He also mentioned that it is time to start a national dialogue on whether US government agencies They will use facial recognition technology and how they would do it.
These statements were informed through a letter and that was disseminated by CNBC, which was written in support of the movement Justice in Policing Act. And, as a result of the wave of protests unleashed after the death of George Floyd in a police intervention with abuse of force, technology companies have also been criticized, especially companies that provide facial recognition services because these have racial and gender biases.
In that letter, Krishna also noted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that can help law enforcement agencies keep citizens safe. But the vendors and users of these systems have a shared responsibility to ensure that the Al is tested to ensure they are not biased.
However, according to CNBC, a person familiar with the situation mentioned that IBM's facial recognition business did not generate significant revenue for the company, but that the decision remains important for this technology giant as it considers the United States government as an important customer. He also mentions that the decision was both commercial and ethical, as IBM has heard in recent weeks the concerns of many groups, including employees, about the use of technology.