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I was wondering if you could provide some insight as to why Aicrowd is hosting a visual product recognition challenge that is sponsored by a Russian company that was acquired by a Kremlin-connected businessman, Vladimir Yevtushenko, who has been included in the UK sanctions list. This raises some concerns, as the company is known to have built a face-recognition system that is used by the Russian government to suppress the opposition and constitutional rights of Russian citizens. Could you clarify the reason behind partnering with a company with such connections and whose technology is being used in this way?
Dear kostyantyn_kravchenk one of the most important elements for us at VisionLabs to clarify upfront is that VisionLabs does not, nor has it ever sold technology to the Russian government. We are very clear on this policy and since the creation of VisionLabs in 2012, we have put great emphasis on the ethical use of our products and solutions. As a commitment to our customers, partners, and end-users, VisionLabs has set out its ethics charter to promote the ethical use of biometrics and privacy-enhancing technology.
Visionlabs technology is successfully deployed, across industries spanning retail, security, financial services, and transportation in more than 60 countries worldwide. Some of the most recognized and well-respected brands in the world rely on our technology every day and we are proud to continue partnering with them to the highest standards of both delivery and ethics.
At VisionLabs we also put emphasis on developing a strong and open computer vision community. The goal of this competition, as part of the non-profit Machines Can See summit, is to foster open source solutions for e-commerce and to promote computer vision technology as means for increasing our life standards.
According to this article in 2019 VisionLabs worked on a face recognition system for the Moscow Metro.
What about Google? It tracks you and provide your data to US government and their alphabet boys. All proprietary stuff like Airbnb, Amazon, Amtrak, Ancestry, Apple, Cloudflare, Discord, Ebooks, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Frito-Lay, Frontier, Google, Gofundme, Grubhub, Intel, LinkedIn, Lyft, Meetup, Microsoft, Netflix, Patreon, Pay Toilets, Skype, Slack, Spotify, Tesla, Ticketmaster, Twitter, Uber, Wendy’s, WhatsApp, Zoom etc. track you and sell data to US government surveillance (see https://stallman.org/).
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has been purchasing location data from Candian telecom companies to track all Canadian citizens. (see Canada’s privacy watchdog probing health officials’ use of cellphone location data - National | Globalnews.ca Canada's public health agency admits it tracked 33 million mobile devices during lockdown | National Post). Glad to see our super high taxes went to pay for violating the privacy of our super expensive telecoms services!
All this violates my “constitutional rights”. Do you also write such posts to these companies to defend constitutional rights?