Tech Giant IBM Offered Police New York Software
Tech Giant IBM offered police New York Software for Ethnic Profiling. Tech giant IBM offered the police of New York (NYPD) software with which detectives could seek residents of the city for skin colour.
The NYPD has made accessible to IBM the camera images that were used for the development of the analysis software,
among other things, internal documents, according to reports.
The documents reveal that IBM used its software since 2012 to analyse New York residents.
In addition to skin colour, the company also made the persons searchable by age, gender, hair colour and the presence of facial hair.
An NYPD spokesperson also mentioned that the police declined IBM’s offer to search people based on race or skin colour.
Employees who examined the software would have been told not to use these features.
Avoid the appearance of ethnic profiling
It is not because the testing or use of the software is illegal or inaccurate to search for a suspect,
who matches the description of a victim or witness, states the spokesperson.
“The decision was made precisely to avoid the appearance of using technology for ethnic profiling.”
According to a former IBM employee working on the analysis software, that is incorrect.
“No company is going to spend money (on developing technology, ed.) If the customer is not interested.”
IBM never made the collaboration with the New York Police public.
According to the NYPD spokesman, in 2016 the police stopped using the analysis software altogether.