Microsoft boss: tech firms must stop ‘if it’s legal, it’s acceptable’ approach

Exclusive: Brad Smith says firms must help define and live by standards before they are forced on them

Tech companies should stop behaving as though everything that is not illegal is acceptable, says Microsoft’s second-in-command. Instead, they should focus on defining – and living by – the standards that they would like to see in regulation, before it gets forced on them anyway.

For some of the most potentially dangerous new technologies, such as facial recognition, that could mean voluntarily refusing to sell them to certain countries, for certain uses, or even agreeing to a moratorium altogether, said Brad Smith, the president and chief legal officer of the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company.

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