Facebook Issues Major Update, Decides To Shut Down Face-Recognition System, Delete Data


Menlo Park: Social-media giant Facebook on Tuesday issued a statement and said it will shut down its face-recognition system and delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people.Also Read – Namami Gange Creates Guinness World Record For Most Photos With Handwritten Notes on Facebook

Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta, said in a blog post that the change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history. Also Read – FB, Instagram Takes Down Over 30 Million Content Pieces in September

“We’re shutting down the Face Recognition system on Facebook. People who’ve opted in will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos and we will delete more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates,” Facebook said. Also Read – Why Meta? Facebook’s New Name Means Dead in Hebrew, Israelis Mock Zuckerberg

“This change will also impact Automatic Alt Text (AAT), which creates image descriptions for blind and visually-impaired people. After this change, AAT descriptions will no longer include the names of people recognized in photos but will function normally otherwise,” it added.

It must be noted that more than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted in to Face Recognition setting and are able to be recognized, and its removal will result in the deletion of more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates.

Jerome Pesenti in the blog post added that the company was trying to weigh the positive use cases for the technology against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.

“We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules,” Facebook added.

Facebook had already been scaling back its use of facial recognition after introducing it more than a decade ago.

The company in 2019 ended its practice of using face recognition software to identify users’ friends in uploaded photos and automatically suggesting they tag them. Facebook was sued in Illinois over the tag suggestion feature.

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