Facebook Face Recognition shutdown: over billion of faceprints deleted

Facebook announced to no longer use the face recognition system, so the database of billion facial profiles set to be deleted

Face Recognition technology on Facebook shutdownMeta announces to remove the database of billion facial prints and templates once the facial recognition system is turned off

Facebook reveals the plan to stop the face recognition system and delete a massive database with billion of users' facial recognition templates.[1] The system that analyzes photos of tagged people and associates other photos to build the identifier or the template was used for a decade on the Facebook platform.[2] It is the method used to find particular people in uploaded photos, so the people can be tagged automatically. Jerome Pesenti states[3]:

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

The rebranded[4] company announced this step as one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the history of technology. This action is part of an initiative to limit the use of the technology across the platforms. The change should take place over the later weeks. The feature might be seen as a helpful system, but growing concerns about using such technology as a whole encouraged the alteration.

New decisions after the Meta rebrand

The announcement of this step from the facial recognition feature comes after the Facebook rebrand to Meta. Legal issues may follow in the future, so this decision can be a step to pre-empt any regulatory scrutiny. The rebrand itself is the step to distance from controversies and statements that Facebook takes profits as a priority over the safety and real-world harms.

The shutdown of the Face Recognition feature can also cause some issues:

  • Technology no longer recognizes people in photos, videos, memories.
  • No more suggestive tagging.
  • Automatic Alt Text technology also gets affected. This is the feature creating descriptions of the image for blind or visually impaired people. AAT will be able to tell how many people are in the picture without identification.
  • Templates used to identify you will be deleted if you have the option turned on.
  • If the setting was shut down, there are no templates related to you to delete.

Limiting the use should lessen the malicious usage

Over the years, the Face Recognition system created many templates, and this shutdown means that a lot of content needs to get deleted during the shutdown. The technology can be used in many different ways, and not all of them are helpful or safe. This fact raises questions in society, so regulators need to provide rules that can be used while ensuring the appropriate face recognition technology usage.

Cases where this technology is employed should narrow to appropriate ones due to this limitation. Facebook has already battled a lawsuit with Illitios due to biometric data collection and use without consent.[5] This is a good change for the sake of security, but more than a third of people used this feature, so changes can affect many.

Privacy and ethical concerns were raised many times when it comes to facial recognition.[6] This technology can be abused by malicious actors since it is easy to target marginalized communities. Such behavior normalizes and popularises the intrusive spying methods and leads to government bans in various cities or states.

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Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

Jake Doevan is one of News Editors for 2-spyware.com. He graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College , Communication and Journalism studies.

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