CEO Magazine North America - - IN DEPTH — MICROSOFT -

In June, Mi­crosoft faced a back­lash over a nearly five-month-old blog post that said it was “proud to sup­port” US Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment amid the grow­ing cho­rus of crit­ics call­ing on the agency to end its child sep­a­ra­tion pol­icy. The com­pany’s blog post, from Jan. 24, touted ICE’s use of Mi­crosoft tech­nol­ogy, say­ing the tech gi­ant was able to “uti­lize deep learn­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to ac­cel­er­ate fa­cial recog­ni­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion” of im­mi­grants. ICE cur­rently has a govern­ment con­tract with Mi­crosoft, though the de­tails of those ser­vices are not pub­lic. The govern­ment’s “zero-tol­er­ance” bor­der pol­icy, in which chil­dren are sep­a­rated from their par­ents and housed in dif­fer­ent fa­cil­i­ties, has be­come a flash­point in the on­go­ing im­mi­gra­tion de­bate. The pol­icy can be traced back to the early days of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion in which the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity dis­cussed ways to de­ter peo­ple from seek­ing asy­lum in the US. The blog post resur­faced re­cently and went vi­ral on so­cial net­works, lead­ing to calls for a boy­cott of Mi­crosoft. The com­pany said in a state­ment that it “urges the ad­min­is­tra­tion to change its pol­icy and Congress to pass leg­is­la­tion en­sur­ing chil­dren are no longer sep­a­rated from their fam­i­lies.” The post was also qui­etly edited to delete the phrase “we’re proud to sup­port this work with our mis­sion-crit­i­cal cloud.”

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