Microsoft and Privacy

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Microsoft has reaffirmed its ban on U.S. police departments from using generative AI for facial recognition through Azure OpenAI Service, the company’s fully managed, enterprise-focused wrapper around OpenAI tech.

Language added Wednesday to the terms of service for Azure OpenAI Service more clearly prohibits integrations with Azure OpenAI Service from being used “by or for” police departments for facial recognition in the U.S., including integrations with OpenAI’s current — and possibly future — image-analyzing models.

A separate new bullet point covers “any law enforcement globally,” and explicitly bars the use of “real-time facial recognition technology” on mobile cameras, like body cameras and dashcams, to attempt to identify a person in “uncontrolled, in-the-wild” environments.

Kyle Wiggers
May 2, 2024
Microsoft bans US police departments from using enterprise AI tool for facial recognition | TechCrunch

It may be a “home town” bias since I worked for Microsoft for 10 years and my daughter has worked there for almost 20 years, but the culture I saw there and have read about since indicates Microsoft takes privacy a lot more seriously than other big tech companies.

One time my pushback on a privacy issue was ignored. My co-workers and manager acknowledged my points but felt it wasn’t all that important and the decision was beyond our control. I reluctantly made the requested changes. About a month later the word from much higher on the food change was to reverse those changes. And that is what happened without whimpering from anyone I knew.


7 thoughts on “Microsoft and Privacy

    • That is what I was thinking, that had better not be on the enterprise version as if it is I could very easily see that version of Win11 not being approved for .gov computers.

      Not even a classification thing, just way too much of a PII risk at even the low low end.

  1. I can believe MS is very concerned for the privacy of *their* data (splt rite dis time), but harder to believe that they put *any* effort into protecting customer data from MS. I’m confident their EULAs declare their customer’s data to *be* MS property.

    Who uses encrypted root, and gateway firewalls without IP addresses, and public keys only, no passwords over a wire? Anyone running MS or systemd has no control of their data whatsoever. Maybe it’s “secure”, maybe not, but that’s not up to you, if you’ve delegated that duty to your OS. Keeping your data… *your*data*, is not trivial.

  2. Actually, what this decision likely shows, is that MS is *keenly* aware of the limitations of their AI, and does not want the legal exposure.

  3. There are lots of vendors for facial recognition beyond MSFT… Iron Yun and Verkata are big names in the video surveillance field most civilians have never heard of.

    This is virtue signaling at its finest. Nobody serious uses their platform in the first place.

  4. Pingback: 3-year-old killed in a true rampage killing - what's the motive? - Legally Armed America - The Global Tofay - Global Today

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