Vendors Pausing Sales of Facial Recognition Technology

This week Microsoft, Amazon and IBM announced they would no longer be selling facial recognition software to United State police departments. All of these companies indicated they will be pausing sales until there are laws in place governing the use of such technology. So, how does this impact other facial recognition vendors?

My first question was: “Will other facial recognition technology companies follow suit?” It will be difficult for smaller players in the market to contradict the industry leaders.  However, if all facial recognition companies rally behind these tech giants, we could see a change on how facial recognition is implemented throughout the United States.

Another thought I had was this hiatus gives smaller facial recognition companies a better chance to win government business. Currently CJIS GROUP is tracking roughly 150 planned projects that have a facial recognition component in state and local government. Without three of the largest facial recognition companies bidding on these projects, the chances of smaller companies winning increases dramatically.

Facial recognition is an extremely powerful tool widely deployed throughout the U.S. As Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. I believe there is a need for facial recognition, but there needs to be regulations in place to make sure it is being used equitably. There could be a lot of good that comes out of this facial recognition sales hiatus, and I think that if these tech giants help implement a set of best practices to use these technologies, facial recognition will be an extremely valuable tool in the future.

June 16, 2020 - 9:22am

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