IBM says U.S. should adopt new export controls on facial recognition systems By Reuters


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© Reuters. A man wearing a protective mask walks past an office building with IBM logo amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – IBM Corp (N:) said on Friday the U.S. Commerce Department should adopt new controls to limit the export of facial recognition systems to repressive regimes that can be used to commit human rights violations.

The company said in a statement the United States should institute new export limits on “the type of facial recognition system most likely to be used in mass surveillance systems, racial profiling or other human rights violations.”

In July, the Commerce Department had sought public comments on whether to adopt new export license requirements for facial recognition software and other biometric systems used in surveillance. Comments are due by Sept. 15.

Christopher Padilla, IBM’s vice president for government and regulatory affairs, told Reuters the U.S. government should focus on “one to many” systems that could be used to pick dissidents out of a crowd or for mass surveillance, rather than “facial identification” systems that allow a user to unlock an iPhone or board an airplane.

IBM said the Commerce Department should control “export of both the high-resolution cameras used to collect data and the software algorithms used to analyze and match that data against a database of images” and argued it should “limit the ability of certain foreign governments to obtain the large-scale computing components required to implement an integrated facial recognition system.”

The company’s written comments did not identify specific governments but said “controls on the most powerful types of facial recognition technology should be focused on those countries that have a history of human rights abuses.”

The Commerce Department’s July notice said China “has deployed facial recognition technology in the Xinjiang region, in which there has been repression, mass arbitrary detention and high technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

The department has added dozens of Chinese companies and entities to an economic blacklist that it said were implicated in human rights violations regarding China’s treatment of Uighurs, including video surveillance firm Hikvision (SZ:), as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology.

China has denied mistreating people in Xinjiang.

IBM said the Commerce Department should also restrict access to online image databases that can be used to train facial recognition systems.

In June, IBM told the U.S. Congress it would stop offering facial recognition software and opposes any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling. The company also called for new federal rules to hold police more accountable for misconduct.

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IBM, Amazon moves on facial recognition are good baby steps toward removing bias


In the midst of huge crisis in the U.S. around police mistreatment of black Americans, two tech giants have said they will halt the sale of controversial facial-recognition software, which has been called out by privacy groups as contributing to racial profiling and ineffective most of the time.

On Monday, IBM Corp.’s
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-1.51%

new Chief Executive Arvind Krishna said the company is exiting the facial-recognition business, saying in a letter to Congress: “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial-recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and principles of trust and transparency.”

Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+1.79%

took a slightly different tack, saying Wednesday that it is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of its Rekognition technology, but that it would still allow organizations focused on stopping human trafficking to continue to use the technology.

Facial-recognition software can be used to help identify people in photos, videos or in real time, and has been increasingly used by law enforcement agencies. But according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit focused on digital privacy rights, “facial-recognition software is particularly bad at recognizing African Americans and other ethnic minorities, women, and young people, often misidentifying or failing to identify them, disparately impacting certain groups.”

According to ProPrivacy, a U.K.-based company that develops virtual private network tools, facial-recognition algorithms used by the police in various parts of the world have been shown to be inaccurate 81% of the time. “These percentages jump even higher when dealing with non-Caucasian faces,” said Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert at ProPrivacy, in a statement.

Facial recognition, which can lead to racial profiling by the police, has been seen as problematic technology even before the protests that have swept the nation following the death of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. A bill was introduced in the Senate last year seeking to establish guidelines and set boundaries for facial recognition, but it has languished in the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

As tech companies hear their employees demand change — such as the request this week by Microsoft Corp.
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employees that the company no longer sell its products to the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies — now is the time to examine how their products are designed with bias, even if it may be unintentional bias.

IBM’s CEO said he believes that now is the time to “begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial-recognition technology should be employed by domestic law-enforcement agencies.” It is also time to begin a national dialogue around bias in tech products in general, a vast topic for sure, but one that needs to be addressed before there can be any hope of change.



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IBM revenue resumes decline amid coronavirus, but earnings top expectations


International Business Machines Corp. revealed Monday that revenue returned to a decline in the first quarter amid the spread of COVID-19, even as Red Hat sales boosted its cloud business, and said it was pulling its annual forecast for now.

The company reported first-quarter net income of $1.18 billion, or $1.31 a share, compared with $1.59 billion, or $1.78 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.84 a share, down from $2.25 a share a year ago. Revenue declined to $17.57 billion from $18.18 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.81 a share on revenue of $17.59 billion on average.

The decline in revenue returns Big Blue to a losing streak it briefly snapped when it barely managed to eke out a slight rise in sales in the fourth quarter. IBM’s sales have declined year-over-year in all but four of the past 32 quarters.

“Looking at the first quarter, through February we were tracking roughly in-line with our expectations,” said Chief Financial Officer James Kavanaugh in the conference call. “As we got into March, the health situation and resulting social distancing became more widespread. As you would expect, we saw noticeable change in client priorities.”

“With that, there was effectively a pause, as clients understandably dealt with their most pressing needs,” Kavanaugh said, especially in the retail industry. “This was most pronounced in our software business, where the vast majority of transactions typically close-in the last two weeks of the quarter.”

IBM
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shares slipped 3% in after-hours activity, after gaining 0.4% to close the regular session at $120.58. For the year, IBM shares are down about 10%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
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— which counts IBM as a component — is off 17%, the S&P 500 index
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is down 12%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
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is down 4%.

IBM hopes that the addition of Red Hat’s software offerings and other changes can reinvigorate its business. “While in this environment, we expect to have some impact due to lower business volumes, this will ultimately lead to an acceleration in the shift of mission-critical workloads to the cloud,” Kavanaugh said on the call.

The analyst call was also the first for Arvind Krishna as chief executive, who took over earlier this month for Ginny Rometty.

On the call, Krishna said that more than 95% of IBM’s 350,000 person workforce was working remotely, with about 8,000 workers at essential sites.

“IBM, together with Red Hat, have unique sources of competitive advantage we can leverage to win the architectural battle for cloud,” said Krishna on the call.

Because of the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the company said it was pulling its guidance for the year. In January, IBM had forecast adjusted earnings of “at least” $13.35 a share for 2020, while analysts expected $12.01 a share. “The company will reassess this position based on the clarity of the macroeconomic recovery at the end of the second quarter,” IBM said in a statement.

Cloud and cognitive software sales, which includes IBM’s Red Hat business, came in at $5.24 billion, while analysts had forecast a 5% rise to $5.3 billion. IBM said that Red Hat accounted for $1.1 billion in revenue, up 20% from a year ago, but that it was only allowed to report $719 million because of purchase accounting requirements.

Systems revenue, which includes mainframes, was $1.37 billion versus the $1.42 billion Street view.

Global technology services revenue came in at $6.47 billion while the Street expected $6.51 billion, and global business services revenue accounted for $4.14 billion in sales while the Street had forecast $3.91 billion.

Of the 19 analysts who cover IBM, five have overweight or buy ratings, 12 have hold ratings, and two have sell ratings, along with an average price target of $132.28.



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IBM Earnings Beat, Revenue Misses In Q1 By Investing.com



Investing.com – IBM (NYSE:) reported on Monday first quarter that beat analysts’ forecasts and revenue that fell short of expectations.

IBM announced earnings per share of $1.84 on revenue of $17.57B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $1.78 on revenue of $17.63B. That with comparison to EPS of $2.25 on revenue of $18.18B in the same period a year before. IBM had reported EPS of $4.71 on revenue of $21.78B in the previous quarter. Analysts are expecting EPS of $2.56 and revenue of $18.21B in the upcoming quarter.

IBM shares are down 10% from the beginning of the year , still down 24.04% from its 52 week high of $158.75 set on February 6. They are outperforming the which is down 17.42% year to date.

IBM shares lost 0.48% in after-hours trade following the report.

IBM follows other major Technology sector earnings this month

IBM’s report follows an earnings matched by Taiwan Semiconductor on Thursday, who reported EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $10.32B, compared to forecasts EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $10.32B.

Micron had beat expectations on March 25 with second quarter EPS of $0.45 on revenue of $4.8B, compared to forecast for EPS of $0.37 on revenue of $4.69B.

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting Investing.com’s earnings calendar

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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