Microsoft Announces Probe Into Israeli Facial Recognition Startup’s West Bank Activity
Microsoft has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into the operations of Tel Aviv-based AnyVision, to see if the use of its technology by Israeli forces in the West Bank violates Microsoft’s ethical principles
Omer Kabir | 12:30 17.11.2019
Microsoft has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into whether the use of facial recognition technology developed by AnyVision Interactive Technologies Ltd., which it backed in a $74 million round in June, met the tech giant’s ethical principles, Microsoft announced Friday. The announcement followed reports by NBC News and Israeli media that Anyvision’s technology was being used by Israeli forces to surveil Palestinians in the West Bank. As part of the investment from Microsoft’s venture fund M12, the Tel Aviv-based company committed to meeting Microsoft’s six ethical principles for artificial intelligence: inclusiveness, fairness, privacy and security, transparency, reliability and safety, and accountability. Based on those principles, Microsoft has committed to protecting people’s freedom when it comes to law enforcement surveillance scenarios, and to not use facial recognition technologies in cases when that freedom is threatened.