Facebook to Shut Down Its Facial Recognition System; User Data Crossing Over a Billion Will Be Deleted

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Following the announcement of changing its name to Meta, Facebook said that it would be shutting down its facial recognition system. The social media giant has been the subject of controversy when it comes to collecting user data, and according to the latest announcement, this new move will force the deletion of user data crossing over a billion.

Facebook Says the Decision Was Made Because the Company Needs to Weigh the Positives for Using Facial Recognition

The announcement says that the decision was taken as the facial recognition feature was facing societal concerns. Additionally, regulators have not provided clear rules on how this technology will be used. As of right now, users who opted in to the facial recognition system will no longer be recognized in photos or videos. Their facial recognition templates will also be deleted.

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Facebook says that more than a third of the social media platform’s daily active users had facial recognition enabled, so the decision required a lot of consideration. However, this does not mean that the company has done away with the technology. On the contrary, Facebook will continue to work on improving iterations of facial recognition, which we will likely hear about in the coming weeks.

As for the differences, the company has been kind to provide a list as to how the deletion of facial recognition data will affect the experience for users.

This will lead to a number of changes:

  • Our technology will no longer automatically recognize if people’s faces appear in Memories, photos or videos.

  • People will no longer be able to turn on face recognition for suggested tagging or see a suggested tag with their name in photos and videos they may appear in. We’ll still encourage people to tag posts manually, to help you and your friends know who is in a photo or video.

  • This change will also impact Automatic Alt Text (AAT), a technology used to create image descriptions for people who are blind or visually impaired. AAT currently identifies people in about 4% of photos. After the change, AAT will still be able to recognize how many people are in a photo, but will no longer attempt to identify who each person is using facial recognition. Otherwise, AAT will continue to function normally, and we’ll work closely with the blind and visually impaired community on technologies to continually improve AAT. You can learn more about what these changes mean for people who use AAT on the Facebook Accessibility page.

  • If you have opted into our Face Recognition setting, we will delete the template used to identify you. If you have the face recognition setting turned off, there is no template to delete and there will be no change.

Do you think shutting down facial recognition was the step in the right direction? Tell us down in the comments.

News Source: Facebook

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