Microsoft Boss Talks Facial Recognition & It’s A ‘Big Brother’ Nightmare For Reals

Microsoft President Brad Smith has written a manifesto on the future of facial recognition calling for more regulation to keep the technology from running amok over civil rights. After reading it, we’re kinda freaking out, tbh. 

The blog post from Thursday, clearly lays out how far facial recognition has come. Smith explains the technology identified 3,000 missing children in just four days across New Delhi. The National Australia bank has already developed a working ATM using facial recognition as a customer PIN. There’s no doubt it’s a powerful tool, but, Smith warns, applied in a nefarious way against a population could easily become a mass surveillance system with dangerous consequences.


Privacy issues, concerns about widespread bias and discrimination, in addition to every Big Brother nightmare come to life, need to be addressed, Smith adds, and outlines six specific “facial recognition principles” for adoption: fairness, transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, notice and consent and lawful surveillance.

“While we’re hopeful that market forces may eventually solve issues relating to bias and discrimination, we’ve witnessed an increasing risk of facial recognition services being used in ways that may adversely affect consumers and citizens – today,” Smith writes.




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