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Microsoft hires US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate AnyVision

Microsoft has 6 ethics for using facial recognition techniques: fairness, transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, notice and consent, and lawful surveillance. The company is strict when it comes to complying with these ethics. Today Microsoft has hired former United States Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an investigation on facial recognition company AnyVision to determine whether it complies with Microsoft’s ethical principles on how the biometric surveillance technology should be used.

M12, Microsoft’s capital venture has invested in AnyVision as part of a $74 million Series A funding round in June. AnyVision’s facial recognition technology is used by the Israeli military at border crossing checkpoints to log the faces of Palestinians crossing into Israel. A report suggests that the company is secretly monitoring the Palestinians who are residing in West Bank and it is not complying with the 6th principle of Microsoft.

The last principle states, “We will advocate for safeguards for people’s democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe will put these freedoms at risk.” Microsoft has hired the former US Attorney General to investigate the report. Holder will lead a team of former federal prosecutors at law firm Covington & Burling to carry out the investigation into how AnyVision’s technology is being used.
“They will move quickly, reviewing documents and conducting on the ground interviews with Anyvision employees and others to ensure a full and thorough investigation,” said a Microsoft spokesman in a statement.
Any vision has not responded to a request for comment about the Holder audit when contacted Friday.

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