Brad Smith says that the tech sector needs to do more to address the challenges that technology is creating and work more closely with governments.

Tech giants must do more to address regulatory challenges Microsoft President Image: Microsoft via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Atom Tech Shorts Monday, September 09, 2019 - 10:17
Written by  IANS

The tech industry needs to step up and do more to address challenges related to regulation, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

In an interview with Geek Wire, Smith said the time has come for the tech giants to own up responsibility for its actions.

"The tech sector needs to step up and do more to address the challenges that technology is creating. As it does that, it needs to recognize that in part, it requires companies working more closely with governments.

"It even requires embracing to a degree what I would call a smart approach to regulation so that technology is, among other things, governed by law," Smith was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith had said recently.

"Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues," warned Smith in a blog post.

"The time for action has arrived," he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

In his new book titled "Tools & Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age" the Microsoft executive and co-author Carol Ann Browne tells the inside story of some of the biggest developments in tech and the world over the past decade.

"Often in the world of software, people focus not on building the most complete complex but a minimum viable product first. They get feedback, and then they use that feedback to make the product better. We actually believe that that has something to offer for the world of technology regulation," Smith told Geek Wire.

The potential for abuse of the face recognition technology is huge and the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people's privacy.

"The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms," Smith said in December last year.

In February, Smith argued that calls to completely stop selling facial recognition tech to the governments would be "cruel" as it could hamper good work such as diagnosing rare diseases.

"I do not understand an argument that companies should avoid all licensing to any government agency for any purpose whatsoever. A sweeping ban on all government use clearly goes too far and risks being cruel in its humanitarian effect," Smith had said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

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