Back in January, Microsoft announced that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was using the company's Azure cloud service "for facial recognition and identification" purposes. The blog stated that the company was proud to provide ICE with deep learning and facial recognition technologies.
In a blog post that he shared on Wednesday on LinkedIn, he said that he is appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the US.
The Trump administration's moves to separate children from their parents at the United States border is a hot-button topic - hot enough that Microsoft got burned.
Few images or sounds from the detention facilities where children are being held have emerged, but on Monday, Propublica published the first bit of audio that demonstrates what it sounds like when a young girl is separated from her father at the border that quickly vent viral and crashed the nonprofit news organization's website.
Microsoft is now insisting in a statement that it wants to make things clear, though it still didn't directly address its business or relations with ICE. Nadella sent an email to all employees, calling the administration's policy "cruel and abusive". On social media, critics called on Microsoft employees to demand that their employer drop the government contract.
In the letter, Microsoft employees say that doesn't go far enough. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.
According to an internal note by Vice President of Microsoft's Azure cloud Platform, Jason Zander, company's is helping ICE for moving from the legacy infrastructure to cloud-based Azure. The migrant children issue has struck a similar chord, prompting executives and employees from other tech companies, including Facebook and Google, to condemn the practice.
Microsoft President Brad Smith posted a wide-ranging blog about USA immigration late Tuesday night, addressing attempts by Congress to halt the separation of children from their families.
"Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles", Nadella wrote. America is a nation of immigrants, and we're able to attract people from around the world to contribute to our economy, our communities and our companies. The company later issued a statement, saying that Microsoft products are not being used specifically for the separation of families. That means standing with every immigrant who works at Microsoft and standing for change in the inhumane treatment of children at the US border today.