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Facebook to stop face recognition system amid privacy concerns Facebook | Face recognition system
Image Credit: Pixabay

Facebook to stop face recognition system amid privacy concerns

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Nov 2021, 02:34 am

Facebook is removing its facial recognition system and deleting a billion faceprints, its parent company said Tuesday, heeding serious concerns over privacy.

"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," Facebook's parent company Meta said in a statement.

The move comes as the social media network faces the worst crises with internal documents leaked to reporters, lawmakers and US regulators. 

"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," the statement read.

"Amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate," it added.

Discontinuing that system "will result in the deletion of more than a billion people's individual facial recognition templates," the statement said.

The suspension of face recognition will be widely felt as facebook said that more than a third of its daily users have opted in to using the facial recognition system.

"Making this change required careful consideration because we have seen a number of places where face recognition can be highly valued by people using platforms," the statement said.

The company still sees facial recognition technology as a powerful tool, for example, for people needing to verify their identity or to prevent fraud and impersonation.

"Facial recognition can be particularly valuable when the technology operates privately on a person’s own devices. This method of on-device facial recognition, requiring no communication of face data with an external server, is most commonly deployed today in the systems used to unlock smartphones," it said.

"It’s an approach we’ll continue to explore as we consider how our future computing platforms and devices can best serve people’s needs," the statement added.