Facial recognition technology need to take ethical approach: Investors

Amazon and Facebook, among other corporations involved in the creation and use of facial recognition technology, are being urged to do so in an ethical manner by a group of 50 investors holding more than $4.5 trillion in assets.

The investment group, led by Candriam, a European division of New York Life, warned in a statement that the technology could violate an individual’s privacy rights due to the lack of agreement of people being identified and the fact that there is often no regulatory control.

Face recognition technology, which can be used to unlock phones or verify bank accounts, has the potential to be exploited by governments to track citizens and repress political opposition, according to human rights advocates.

The investor group announced that it would launch a two-year engagement process with companies developing or utilizing the technology. Amazon, Facebook, and Asian tech giants Alibaba and Huawei are among the 34 businesses it regards to be leaders in facial recognition, according to the report.