TECH NEWS | Facebook will shut down facial recognition system soon

Facebook, which recently changed its company name to Meta, will remove or delete more than one billion individual facial recognition templates.

Source: Facebook, Inc.

Amid pressure and growing concerns from users and government regulators, Facebook will reportedly end its facebook facial recognition feature.

In a blog post, the company said “in the coming weeks, we will shut down the Face Recognition system on Facebook as part of a company-wide move to limit the use of facial recognition in our products. As part of this change, people who have opted in to our Face Recognition setting will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos, and we will delete the facial recognition template used to identify them.”

It added that “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.”

“This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history. More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted in to our 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,” the post further said.

“Every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit and concern, and we want to find the right balance. In the case of facial recognition, its long-term role in society needs to be debated in the open, and among those who will be most impacted by it. We will continue engaging in that conversation and working with the civil society groups and regulators who are leading this discussion,” the blog post added.

A report from CNBC.com further said the decision to shut down the system on Facebook “comes amid a barrage of news reports over the past month after Frances Haugen, a former employee turned whistleblower, released a trove of internal company documents to news outlets, lawmakers and regulators.”

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