Users have reported a glitch with Hewlett-Packard webcams, claiming that the cameras are unable to recognize African-American faces.
The HP webcam referenced in the complaint is said to be equipped with face-tracking software that designed to follow the movements of the user. In a video uploaded to YouTube titled "HP computers are racist," two users describe having experienced troubles with the facial recognition feature, saying the camera failed to work when a darker-skinned face appeared in the camera's frame.
HP has issued a statement in response to the criticism and YouTube video:
Some of you may have seen or heard of a YouTube video in which the facial-tracking software didn't work for a customer. We thank Desi, and the people who have seen and commented on his video, for bringing this subject to our attention.
We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty "seeing" contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting.