Microsoft needs to stop selling surveillance to the NYPD

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Microsoft’s decision not to sell facial recognition to the police means nothing if the company won’t stop selling the Orwellian Domain Awareness System to the New York Police Department. When Microsoft announced to much fanfare that they wouldn’t sell police facial recognition, almost no one asked the urgent follow-up question: “What about your other surveillance technology?” The truth is that Microsoft wasn’t selling police facial recognition to begin with, so their “principled stand” was nothing more than free PR. But there is a much less well-known system that Microsoft has sold to police for years, one that is even worse than facial recognition: The Domain Awareness System (DAS). Read Full Story

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Now Microsoft is banning police from using its facial recognition tech, too

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Microsoft wants “a national law in place ground in human rights” to govern the use of facial recognition tech before it will sell such technology to the police. This week has been a big one for facial recognition news. First, IBM announced they will be getting out of the facial recognition tools game altogether, and then Amazon announced it is placing a moratorium on selling its facial recognition tools to police for one year. Both moves were sparked by the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers. Facial recognition technology has frequently been found to be racially biased . Read Full Story

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Facial recognition technology is inevitable—it’s time we make it human-centered

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As big tech companies press pause on developing this surveillance tool, others are racing to commercialize it. On the back of the Black Lives Matters movement, IBM decided to get out of the facial recognition (FR) business altogether. Amazon announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its FR software, Rekognition, and Microsoft declared that it would do the same until there is a federal law to regulate the technology. Read Full Story

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IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon’s face recognition bans don’t go far enough

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While these tech giants may have stepped back from facial recognition, their bans don’t encompass other technology they supply for police or square with their past lobbying and legislative efforts. Advocates against flawed facial recognition systems have pushed for limits or bans on the use of these controversial technologies by law enforcement for at least four years. Now, amid a global reckoning around racial injustice spurred by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft declared decisions to end or pause sales of their facial recognition products to law enforcement. Read Full Story

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Microsoft President Brad Smith isn’t afraid to do what’s right—for his workers, or you

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For standing up for workers’ well-being and consumers’ right to privacy, Microsoft President Brad Smith is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2020. Well before tech giants instituted moratoriums on selling facial recognition technology to police in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Microsoft president Brad Smith argued in his 2019 book, Tools and Weapons , that legislation was required to ensure ethical use of the tech. A 23-year Microsoft veteran, Smith also wrote that companies should protect mobile-device privacy, limit government access to customers’ data, and consider the ramifications of AI replacing people’s jobs. As the COVID-19 crisis presented unprecedented challenges to work and business, he has continued to lead by example. Read Full Story

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In historic first, Portland bans corporations from using facial recognition tech on the public

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But Portland residents can still use facial recognition tech, like the kind found in iPhones and Nest cameras. Over the past year, several U.S. cities have taken steps to ban or limit the use of facial recognition technology to surveil people. Yet these bans were only applied to government departments and police. As of today, Portland, Oregon, has surpassed those bans in an effort to protect its citizens from surveillance. Read Full Story

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Thank Kade Crockford for driving the ban of facial recognition tech in cities

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The activist has become one of the leading proponents of enhancing our privacy and safety by abolishing the technology that would imperil both. According to activist Kade Crockford, widespread use of face surveillance—in which algorithms match real-time and historical video data to people’s identities—would “obliterate privacy and anonymity in public as we know it.” That’s why they have organized local support and worked with seven Massachusetts cities over the past year and a half to enact preemptive bans against the technology. As big tech companies continued to pitch their facial recognition algorithms to police departments, Crockford convinced local police chiefs of the need to prevent face surveillance from being used in their communities, and in June, succeeded in banning the tech in Boston. Crockford is eyeing statewide policy, and people have been reaching out about emulating these efforts elsewhere. “This is not a controversial issue for voters,” says Crockford, who …

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These 8 steps for police abolition go further than #8Can’tWait

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8toAbolition is a response to the set of eight police reform proposals touted by DeRay McKesson. As protests against police brutality grew across the country in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, one nonprofit stepped forward with a set of eight reforms , #8Can’tWait, that they claimed would dramatically reduce police violence—policy changes such as a ban on chokeholds or a requirement that police use de-escalation techniques. But activists quickly criticized the platform, pointing out that reforms that happened in the past haven’t gone far enough. Minneapolis, where George Floyd died at the hands of police, was one of several cities that had enacted several reforms in the past . No matter how much training or regulations the police get, they argued, they’re still capable of violence and discrimination. Read Full Story

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How to Set Up Microsoft Bing Shopping Campaigns for Ecommerce Businesses

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Google may lead the search engine ranks, but they’re not the only player in the game. Bing holds 11.22% of the global search engine market share . Compared to Google’s 72.94%, that may not seem like much — but with upwards of a third of US desktop searches coming from Bing (and Bing-backed AOL and Yahoo), it’s pretty huge. For ecommerce businesses, that makes Microsoft Shopping Campaigns (formally known as Bing shopping campaigns) a killer opportunity to boost your bottom line. NOTE: Bing now refers to all platforms related to their shopping ads by the Microsoft name. For example, what was once called the “Bing Merchant Center” is now the “Microsoft Merchant Center.” Bing Does Not Equal Google, but That Could Be a Good Thing Long story short: Your paid media strategy deserves diversification, and Bing is the place to find it. Why? Because Bing offers unique demographics you may …

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