Nov 17, 2019 06:06 UTC
  • Microsoft to probe Israeli company over surveillance of Palestinian

US technology company Microsoft says it is investigating whether the use of facial recognition technology developed by an Israeli startup it funded “complies with its ethics principles,” following reports that Zionist regime uses the company’s facial recognition technology for surveillance on Palestinians.

According to Press TV, Microsoft, which is based near Seattle, Washington, said in a statement Friday that former US Attorney General Eric Holder would lead a team from law firm Covington & Burling to conduct the probe.

Holder, the top US legal and law endorsement official under former President Barack Obama, was hired by Uber Technologies in 2017 to review claims of sexual harassment.

M12, the venture fund of Microsoft, participated in a $74 million investment in June on AnyVision, an Israeli startup based outside Tel Aviv.

AnyVision has come under scrutiny following reports by NBC News and Israeli media that its technology is used to spy on Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories.

AnyVision has denied the reports, claiming its software was not used for surveillance and was deployed at border crossings for biometric identification.

The probe reflects growing unease about facial recognition surveillance in the United States and elsewhere that human rights organizations say could limit freedom of expression and lead to unfair arrests.

Microsoft announced facial recognition ethics principles last year, saying the company would “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.”