(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.(O) has hired the former US attorney general, Eric Holder, to investigate whether the use of face recognition technology developed by an Israeli start-up of the funded, and in accordance with the ethical principles, the company said on Friday.
A FILE PHOTO of The Microsoft mark is displayed at the top of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, USA, October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
AnyVision, outside of Tel Aviv, which has come under the scrutiny of the following reports by Haaretz’s TheMarker business newspaper, and the NBC News that the technology will be used in the sea for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
AnyVision, who refused to SHOW any such use of the service, and did not respond to a request for comment.
The probe, which reflects the growing concerns over a facial recognition surveillance within the United States and around the world, which civil liberties groups say could lead to an unfair arrest, and freedom of speech should be limited.
Microsoft announced that it has face detection of ethical principles on the last year, said that the company would “advocate for the safeguard of the people’s democratic freedoms, to the enforcement of the act on the supervision of the scenarios, and will not use facial recognition technology in the different scenarios in which we believe that these freedoms are in grave danger.”
Microsoft said in a statement that the Holder would be leading a team from the law firm of Covington & Burling to conduct the probe. Holder, the top U.S. legal official under the former President, Barack Obama, who was hired by Uber Technologies, Inc. (“UBER.(N) in 2017, to review claims of sexual harassment.
He did not immediately return a request for comment.
For M12, the venture capital fund of the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, has been taking part in a $74 million series A round of funding that AnyVision announced in June.
NBC has reported that the AnyVision technology has been used in the West Bank, and Israeli border crossings. The company told NBC that the software has not been used before in the West Bank, to supervision, and has been used at border crossings, in a manner similar to the Customs of the u.s., the use of biometric identification in airports.
Israel faces criticism and a boycott of the occupation and its policies toward the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
AnyVision in an August blog post, saying that it would notify an ethics advisory board, and he had a responsibility to ensure that the technology is abused. At the same time, it is recommended how the face recognition speeds up border crossings, as it will help to maintain the law of the place of the criminals.
Microsoft markets it as a facial recognition tool, and the support of a U.S. Senate bill, announced on Thursday that it would be an order of the court and for federal law enforcement use of the technology to deliver targeted, on-going supervision.
Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill “falls woefully short of protecting the privacy of people’s rights.”
Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Henderson and Sonya Hepinstall