Facebook announced it is shutting down its Face Recognition system. People who’ve opted in will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos. As a consequence Facebook will delete more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates. The company stated it ‘needed to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.’
In the coming weeks, Meta 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. 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.
In a blog Facebook said:
‘Like most challenges involving complex social issues, we know the approach we’ve chosen involves some difficult tradeoffs. For example, the ability to tell a blind or visually impaired user that the person in a photo on their News Feed is their high school friend, or former colleague, is a valuable feature that makes our platforms more accessible. But it also depends on an underlying technology that attempts to evaluate the faces in a photo to match them with those kept in a database of people who opted-in. The changes we’re announcing today involve a company-wide move away from this kind of broad identification, and toward narrower forms of personal authentication.’