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Microsoft to end investments in facial recognition firms after AnyVision controversy

Microsoft says it will no longer invest in third-party facial recognition companies following a controversy around its funding of Israeli startup AnyVision, which critics and human rights activists say powered a surveillance program in the West Bank following an NBC News report about the company’s relationship with the Israeli government.

Microsoft now says an independent investigation led by former US Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at international law firm Covington & Burling found that “AnyVision’s technology has not previously and does not currently power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank that has been alleged in media reports.” Had it done so, Microsoft says it would have constituted a breach of the finance portfolio’s pledge on ethical facial recognition use. Regardless, Microsoft says it is divesting from AnyVision and will no longer make minority investments in any facial recognition firms.

Source: Microsoft to end investments in facial recognition firms after AnyVision controversy – The Verge

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