Microsoft Boss Urges For Regulation On Facial Recognition


The boss of Microsoft, the software giant, has said that facial recognition technology must be regulated, as the firm tries to weathers another storm in China.

During a speech at the World Economic Forum that was held in Davos, Switzerland, Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, said that self-regulation when it comes to facial recognition may not be sufficient as the technology is becoming more popular.

Such technology has become a mainstay of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy products, opting to ditch the home button giving way to more futuristic security protocols. However, it has resulted in disputes among regulators and lawmakers alike, asking questions such as whether the police should be allowed to unlock a person’s phone by using their face without their permission.

Nadella stated: “One of the things that I feel today is, in the marketplace, there’s competition. There’s no discrimination between the right use and the wrong use of facial recognition.”

He said that while self-regulation today might be “fair and robust” enough in order to handle such issues, tech companies should “also welcome any regulation that helps the marketplace not be a race to the bottom.”

His remarks came as Microsoft said that Bing, its search engine, had been blocked in China, making it the most recent foreign technology service to have been burned by the so-called Great Firewall of the country.

However, reports emerged later this evening that Bing had been re-activated, as Bloomberg revealed that it had been able to access the search engine again.

Earlier in the day, the Financial Times cited a source that said that a state-owned Chinese telecoms firm had confirmed that the government had ordered a block on the service.

Bing had been the only major foreign search engine that was left behind the Great Firewall after Google was blocked in 2010 because of its refusal to censor search results that the Chinese government considered being sensitive.