Facebook to shut down its face-recognition system

Facebook to shut down its face-recognition system.
Image: Pixabay

Facebook to shut down its face-recognition system

Facebook, now known as Meta, has announced its intention today, Tuesday, November 2, of shutting down its system for face-recognition. At the same time, it will remove more than 1 billion people’s faceprints.

As a result, people’s faces will no longer be automatically recognised in photos or videos after this change. This means that the current function where users can suggest tagging a person in a photo or video will no longer be available. Manual tags will still be possible though.

According to Facebook, approximately 640 million users opted into their Face Recognition setting out of a daily 1.93 billion. Cutting this system will have some impact on that group of people. Blind and visually impaired users will be affected by this cut, as the alt text system will not function.

Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Meta, Facebook´s new parent company, commented in a blog post, “This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history”.

He added, “More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted into our Face Recognition setting, and are able to be recognised, and its removal will result in the deletion of more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates”.

“There are many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society, and regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use. Amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate”, said Pesenti.

Introduced more than ten years ago, Facebook had already been scaling down on its use of facial recognition after being sued in Illinois in 2019. This incident saw the feature that allowed friends to be recognised and suggesting tagging them in uploaded photos being scrapped, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.


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