Microsoft has updated its terms of service for Azure OpenAI Service, which is their enterprise-focused platform that integrates OpenAI's technology. This service is used by businesses and government agencies for various AI applications, including generative AI and facial recognition. The update specifically targets the use of this technology by police departments in the U.S.

Key Update

Microsoft has explicitly banned U.S. police departments from using Azure OpenAI Service for facial recognition. This decision comes amid concerns over the potential misuse of AI, particularly in real-time facial recognition on body cameras and dashcams, which can lead to privacy violations and biased policing. The new terms also extend to a global ban on using the service for real-time facial recognition in uncontrolled environments. This move follows the release of a new product by Axon, a company that provides technology for law enforcement, which uses OpenAI's models to summarize body camera footage. Critics have raised concerns about the reliability and bias of such AI systems. While the ban primarily affects U.S. police departments, it does not cover all law enforcement uses globally, nor does it restrict facial recognition in controlled environments.

Technical Terms

Generative AI

AI that can create new content, such as text, images, or audio, based on the data it has been trained on.

Facial Recognition

Technology that identifies or verifies individuals by analyzing and comparing facial features from images or video.


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