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Companies and researchers against racism

Léo Ramos Chaves Amid the anti-racism demonstrations that took place in June after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, USA, multinational tech company IBM decided to suspend development of all facial recognition systems. Days later, Amazon and Microsoft announced that they would not allow their facial recognition software to be used by US police forces. The companies say that because the tools could potentially be used discriminatingly against ethnic minorities, in violation of their human rights, they will only consider selling them to law enforcement if their use is regulated by federal law. In late June, the United Nations urged member countries to establish a moratorium on how the technology is used. Researchers from around the world also suspended their work on June 10 as a form of protest against Floyd’s death and racism in general. “People are tired of seeing organizations that have released statements, but with no action plan in place,” researcher Jasmine Roberts of Ohio State University, USA, told the journal New Scientist.