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IBM will no longer offer facial recognition technology: Here’s why

IBM gets out of facial recognition business
IBM gets out of facial recognition business (AP)

IBM's decision to get out of the facial recognition business comes as the US grapples with nationwide protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, under police custody.

International Business Machines Corp will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, new Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said in a letter to the members of the United States Congress on Monday.

The company will stop offering facial recognition software and oppose any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling, Krishna said.

"IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency," he was quoted as saying in the letter.

ALSO READ: Facial recognition tech should be regulated, not banned: IBM

Government officials across the country have proposed reforms to address police brutality and racial injustice aimed at boosting oversight of law enforcement agencies.

In the letter sent to prominent U.S. Senators, including Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Krishna also called on for greater transparency and accountability to policing.

Krishna, the key architect of IBM's $34 billion (26.74 billion pounds) Red Hat acquisition last year, took over the chief executive officer role from Ginni Rometty in April.

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