Opening Insights: Who is Watching
Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you.
Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed- no escape.
Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.
GEORGE ORWELL, 1984
Microsoft President Brad Smith has been vocal about technology moral challenges and the stance he and Microsoft have taken to protect the users of their software. If government leaders knocked on your door and requested that you to spy on your neighbors, would you? Even if it was for the purpose of national security? Every American is responsible for the security and integrity of our nation, but where do we draw the line. The answer is, ETHICS.
Informational Insights: Socially Responsible Means…
The following article was published by MSPoweruser, “a leading blog which covers technology, gaming and more from a Microsoft-informed perspective.” It was written by Anmol Hehrotra, editor for MSPoweruser.com
Microsoft’s President Brad Smith is on a tour to promote his latest book Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age. As a part of his tour, Brad Smith sat down with Reuters to talk about the pressing issues that are troubling the tech companies at the moment.
Brad has been open about the ethical and moral issues in his book and has also noted that Trump administration’s attempt to take help from Microsoft to spy on people. Now, he confirmed that Trump wasn’t the only person who came to Microsoft for help. He said, there was another government who wanted to deploy Microsoft Facial ID services. The company feared that the tech could be misused and denied the request. Brad didn’t mention who asked for it but he did mention that Microsoft is not interested in selling any services that might allow the government to run mass surveillance programs on its citizens.
‘We won’t sell facial recognition services for the purposes of mass surveillance anywhere in the world.’ – Brad Smith
Smith even criticized China for using similar technology on its citizen and argued that Microsoft has valid reasons for the development and use of the technology. However, he did urge the government to keep and move faster to regulate these technologies before they get out of the hand.
‘It’s hard to innovate if you can’t use something, and it’s hard to learn if you can’t innovate.’ – Brad Smith
Facial recognition is not the only thing he talked with Reuters. Smith also pressed on the need for accountability surrounding content moderation. He didn’t point fingers at anyone but did note that the content shared on social media should be actively moderated. Currently, Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act protects companies from being sued for the content published on their website. However, Smith pointed out that the law was passed back in the late 1990s when the situation was different and it needs to be updated according to the current scenario.
‘The laws around the world are going to change, and because technology is so global, American companies will adopt a new approach even if the United States Congress does nothing.’ – Brad Smith
This article republished by MSPOWERUSER: Brad Smith talks about not selling face recognition services, laws around content moderation and more in his latest interview
This article originally appeared in REUTERS: Tech companies won’t wait for U.S. to act on social media laws, Microsoft’s president says
Possibilities for Consideration: Exchange Freedom for Security
Do companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. have a responsibility to uphold the security of their users and protect them in whatever way they are able? I think that most of us would answer “yes.” Is the security of mass government surveillance worth the elimination of privacy and freedom? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the SocraticQ below.
Add Your Insight
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI