• IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the tech giant will no longer offer facial recognition software and said there should be a “national dialogue” on the technology’s use in law enforcement.
  • Krishna announced the change in a letter to members of the US Congress, including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, in which he also called for policing reforms in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
  • “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,” he said in the letter.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said Monday that the tech giant will stop offering facial recognition software and called for a “national dialogue” on the way the technology is used for law enforcement.

Krishna unveiled the change in a letter to key members of the US Congress in which he also called for major policing reforms in the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white policeman.

“IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software,” Krishna said in the letter addressed to congressional leaders, including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. “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,” 

Krishna said it was also time to “begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

Krishna’s letter underscored the broadening impact of the killing of George Floyd, which has sparked global protests against systemic police abuse in the United States. Floyd, who was African American, died after a white Minneapolis policeman apparently choked him to death by kneeling on his neck while taking him into custody.

Krishna said the tech giant hoped to help the US Congress in the quest for new policies to hold police “more accountable for misconduct.”

He cited several proposals that other advocacy organizations have already raised, such as modifying “the qualified immunity doctrine that prevents individuals from seeking damages when police violate their constitutional rights.”

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