Microsoft president Brad Smith. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft wants the U.S. government to start thinking about what limits should be set on the use of face recognition technology. In a blog post, Microsoft also said it is consulting with outside groups to help set its own policies for how it will use and sell such technology.

Why it matters: Face recognition can be used for a range of purposes, from reuniting missing kids to mass surveillance. Currently, there are few rules for those using or selling the technology.

What they're saying: "The only effective way to manage the use of technology by a government is for the government proactively to manage this use itself," Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post. "And if there are concerns about how a technology will be deployed more broadly across society, the only way to regulate this broad use is for the government to do so."

First steps: Microsoft is calling for a bipartisan committee of experts to help inform congressional action.

  • For its own part, Smith said Microsoft is going to move slowly on commercial use of face recognition while it explores what its own policies should be. Notably, though, the company didn't say it would stop work on existing projects or even reject additional ones.

Our thought bubble: Companies may feel safer handing government the hot potato of figuring out where to draw lines around this potentially controversial technology. But government may not be inclined to limit its own freedom to use the new tools.

Counterpoint: If the big companies say no, some upstart would probably seize the opportunity instead. And neither China's government nor its companies are likely considering similar limits, meaning that the U.S. could fall behind on a key emerging technology if it sets too many roadblocks.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 31,120,980 — Total deaths: 961,656— Total recoveries: 21,287,328Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 6,819,651 — Total deaths: 199,606 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  5. Business: Unemployment concerns are growing.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in Capitol's National Statuary Hall

Photo: Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall on Friday, making Ginsburg the first woman to ever receive the honor.

The state of play: The Supreme Court also announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in repose on the front steps of the building on Wednesday and Thursday, allowing the public to pay respects to the late justice outside.