Google, Microsoft and Amazon make billions each year selling devices, data storage, and software to consumers/ But they also profit from government contracts. Now some of those contracts are starting to backfire. Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents by U.S immigration and customer enforcement (ICE) to discourage undocumented immigrants from entering the United States. Many people have blasted the policy as cruel. And now Microsoft is feeling some heat.
In January, a Microsoft executive wrote that he was “proud to support” ICE with the company’s Azure cloud software. Recently, the statement spread on social media, and now some people – including Microsoft employees – are upset.
Google’s Project Maven helped U.S Depart of Defence analyse drone. Footage with artificial intelligence. Several Google employees resigned in protest over the program. After tons of bad press, the company decided not to renew the contract.
Upset at Amazon
On Friday, stockholders sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pressuring the company to stop selling facial recognition software to law enforcement, saying they were “concerned” the technology would be used to “disproportionately target” people of colour and immigrants.
Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have data from Billions of users. They also have the resources to develop powerful tools that could be abused by governments around the world. Maybe the bad PR will cause them to think twice about who they do business with.