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Microsoft calls for stricter regulation of face recognition tech

Microsoft (MSFT) has always upheld certain principles while carving a niche for itself in the tech industry, and one of them is the responsible use of technology. In a rare case of a business house demanding scrutiny of its own products, Microsoft this week urged the government to regulate the use of facial recognition tools – an AI-based technology which has been a point of contention among regulators and companies for quite some time.

Meanwhile, the company’s shares rose to a new record high on Friday, reflecting the bullish market sentiment ahead of next week’s earnings announcement.

Microsoft president Brad Smith in an informal statement urged the authorities to take adequate steps to bring face recognition technology under stringent regulation. It seems Smith issued the statement against the backdrop of the allegations leveled against the company recently for being a party to the contentious immigration issue by providing AI-based tools to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Microsoft this week urged the government to regulate the use of facial recognition tools

The company, which has heavily invested in AI, recently refuted the charges saying its cloud-based tools are used by the agency only for common tasks like email communication.

The call comes on the heels of tech firms like Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) – the other leading developers of AI technology – drawing criticism from various quarters including employees for providing AI products to government agencies.

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Smith argued that the best way to bring clarity on the matter and to ensure appropriate usage of the technology is to have it regulated by the government. “If there are concerns about how a technology will be deployed more broadly across society, the only way to regulate this broad use is for the government to do so,” reads the statement that appeared in social media.

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Though Smith confirmed that there is pressure on Microsoft to end its tie-up with the Immigration agency, he did not specify the company’s stance on it. Technology firms that handle substantial user data have developed a penchant for stricter regulation ever since Facebook (FB) got embroiled in a privacy breach controversy earlier this year.

Microsoft shares gained consistently since the beginning of the week and set new records almost every day. The stock hit an all-time of $105.60 during Friday’s regular session.

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