CREDO Action

Tell Hilton and Unilever: Stop using facial recognition for hiring

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The petition to Hilton and Unilever reads:

"Facial recognition is known to be biased and faulty. Do not let technology become a gatekeeper to our financial stability. Stop using HireVue for hiring now."

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    Tell Hilton and Unilever: Stop using facial recognition for hiring

    The risks we face from biased technology keep growing. It was recently reported that hundreds of employers are using faulty facial recognition technology to evaluate job applicants.

    The AI hiring system, from recruiting-technology firm HireVue is terrifying. It claims it can analyze facial movement, word choice, and speaking voice to rank applicants and determine their "employability," but it's not based on any real science and is being blasted by AI experts as a profoundly troubling, and likely discriminatory, development that could mirror human bias and fast track discrimination based on race, sex, gender, primary language and class.2

    We cannot sit by while technological solutions that by their very nature replicate systemic oppression invade our workplaces, our homes and our communities. Hilton and Unilever are two of the biggest users of HireVue's technology. Speak out now to ask them to stop.

    Tell Hilton and Unilever: Stop using HireVue's AI "employability" assessment now.

    Facial recognition and the tech companies that build and market it have come under intense public scrutiny over the last two years. Several cities have banned facial recognition completely3 Congress has held a series of hearings to determine government use of the tech,4 and multiple studies, including one from MIT, have warned that facial recognition has the ability to supercharge and further embolden government and law enforcement surveillance.

    HireVue's product is at the dangerous intersection of facial recognition and AI. It's not just seeing people's faces, it's making sweeping decisions about people's "employability" based on pseudoscientific interpretations of 100's of their facial movements made while they are in a highly artificial, highly stressful interview situation. Experts predict, not surprisingly, that second language learners, people who are extremely nervous and people don't "look the part" will be disproportionately judged less or not employable.

    Employers who are using the this technology to evaluate job applicants are introducing an incredible amount of bias into their hiring process, automating discrimination at a terrifying rate. If we allow companies using HireVue to go unchecked, it could become even more difficult for people of color, immigrants women and gender non-conforming people to get jobs.

    HireVue is faulty and biased technology that companies should refuse to use in their hiring processes. We must use our power as consumers and customers to expose and force Hilton and Unilever to end their contracts immediately.

    Tell Hilton and Unilever: Stop the use of facial recognition for hiring.

    1. Drew Harwell, "A face-scanning algorithm increasingly decides whether you deserve the job" Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2019.
    2. Steve Lohr, "Facial Recognition Is Accurate, if You’re a White Guy" The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2018.
    3. Tom McKay, "Berkeley Becomes Fourth U.S. City to Ban Face Recognition in Unanimous Vote" Gizmodo, Oct. 16, 2019.
    4. Lily Hay Newman, "The Window to Rein In Facial Recognition Is Closing" Wired, July 18, 2019.
    5. Richard Feloni, "An MIT researcher who analyzed facial recognition software found eliminating bias in AI is a matter of priorities" Business Insider, Jan. 23, 2019.