RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – An executive at Amnesty International is questioning IBM’s $70 million five-year contract with the UK government to implement what’s called a “Matcher Service Platform,” saying the deal violates IBM’s self-declared limits on use of its facial recognition technology.

“The research across the globe is clear; there is no application of one-to-many facial recognition that is compatible with human rights law, and companies – including IBM – must therefore cease its sale, and honor their earlier statements to sunset these tools, even and especially in the context of law and immigration enforcement where the rights implications are compounding,” said Dr. Matt Mahmoudi, an artificial intelligence and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, as reported by ERP Today.

IBM quits facial recognition business, calls for police reforms

Noted ERP:  “The company will transition and manage the existing Matcher Platform, which was built by Fujitsu, and will create new search capabilities and the decommissioning of legacy algorithms for a police service biometric data service and immigration and asylum biometric information system.”

In a statement to ERP, an IBM spokesperson said the contract doesn’t conflict with its stand on AI.

““IBM’s work with the Home Office is consistent with our 2020 commitment on facial recognition,” the spokesperson said. “Our company does not support the use of facial recognition for mass surveillance, racial profiling or other human rights violations.”

IBM calls for limits on exports of facial recognition technology