RESEARCH TRIANLGE PARK – IBM on Friday called on the US government to limit exports of facil recognition technology that could be used for racial profiling or other human rights violations.

Responding to requests for comment by the US Department of Commerce, IBM said limits should be placed on “the type of facial recognition system most likely to be used in mass surveillance systems, racial profiling or other human rights violations.”

In an interview with Reuters, Christopher Padilla, IBM’vice president for government and regulatory affairs, said the US should focus on “one to many” systems that could be used to pick dissidents out of a crowd or for mass surveillance, rather than “facial identification” systems that allow a user to unlock an iPhone or board an airplane.

SeekingAlpha also reported that “IBM also wants the tightened access to extend to the high-resolution cameras used in such systems and the ‘large-scale computing components required to implement an integrated facial recognition system.'”

IBM quit selling facial recognition tech

After protests broke out following the death of George Floyd, many calls have been made for changes in law enforcement. But IBM CEO Arvind Krishna took that steps further, also calling for “responsible use of technology” as well as efforts to expand skills and educational opportunities.

He spelled out IBM’s stand in a letter sent to Congress. IBM called for a “pursuit of justice and racial equity.”

As part of that effort, Krishna announced the dropping of facial recognition.

“IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software,” Krishna wrote.

IBM quits facial recognition business, calls for police reforms

Microsoft and Google also pasued sales of facial recognition systems to police.

IBM employs thousands of people across North Carolina and is the owner of Raleigh-based Red Hat.