Disable Facebook’s face recognition system, more than 1 billion IDs will be deleted

Disable Facebook's face recognition system, more than 1 billion IDs will be deleted

Photo: Jaap Arens/Noor Photo/AFP

Jerome Bisenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Facebook’s parent company Meta, announced Tuesday that Facebook is deactivating its facial recognition system, and in parallel, Facebook will remove more than a billion human faces from its system.

The company said one in three daily active users have used face recognition – roughly 640 million people – and all face-recognition templates for those users will now be deleted.

Regarding the background to the decision, Pesenti revealed in his letter that Facebook is concurrently considering the positive benefits of the technology in parallel with growing societal concerns, especially given that the authorities have not yet established clear rules on these sensitive privacy issues.

Anyway, Facebook hasn’t actively developed this feature in recent years, and in fact, the technology’s downsizing has been going on for a long time. In 2019, the practice of using facial recognition software to identify user acquaintances in uploaded photos was eliminated. The ability to automatically distinguish faces in photos has been removed. Facebook has also been sued in Illinois over this latest practice.

Some US cities have previously banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other government agencies. In 2019, San Francisco was the first US city to ban the use of technology to protect privacy and civil liberties. (AFP)

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