As per reports, more than one-third of the daily, active Facebook users had opted in for the facial recognition feature which is about 640 million. Meta to end Facebook Face Recognition due to ‘societal concerns’.
Meta end Facebook Face Recognition due to ‘societal concerns’
Facebook is shutting down its facial recognition system and deleting a billion faceprints, the parent company Meta said in a statement. This comes at a time when there are serious allegations on Facebook of breach of privacy with internal documents leaked to reporters, lawmakers, and US regulators.
However, it was not clear when the changes would take effect. As per reports, more than one-third of the daily, active Facebook users had opted in for the facial recognition feature which is about 640 million people. Facebook introduced facial recognition more than a decade ago. However, it gradually made it easier to opt-out of the feature as it faced scrutiny from courts and regulators.
“This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” Jerome Pesenti, Vice President of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta said.
Currently, Facebook is perhaps facing one of its biggest crises to date after leaked documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen showed that the company has known about the harms its products cause and often did little or nothing to mitigate them.
For many years, Facebook gave people the option to be automatically notified when they appear in photos or videos posted by others and provided recommendations for who to tag in photos. These features are also powered by the Face Recognition system which is shutting down. Facebook in 2019 had already stopped automatically recognizing people in photos.
Meta added that they will still see facial recognition technology as a powerful tool, for example, for people needing to verify their identity or to prevent fraud and impersonation. “We believe facial recognition can help for products like these with privacy, transparency and control in place, so you decide if and how your face is used,” Meta said.