Following a prolonged privacy dispute, Meta (previously known as Facebook) is removing Facebook’s Face Recognition feature. The program has been opt-in since 2019.
According to Meta, the change will be executed in the next weeks. As part of it, the business will stop utilizing facial recognition algorithms to identify individuals in images and videos, and it will destroy the facial recognition templates that it now uses for identification.
Jerome Pesenti, VP of artificial intelligence at Meta, describes the change as part of a “company-wide initiative to limit the usage of face recognition in our products.”
The action comes after a lawsuit accusing Meta’s tagging technology of breaking Illinois’ biometric privacy statute, which resulted in a $650 million settlement in February. In 2019, Facebook limited face recognition to an opt-in function.
“Looking ahead, we still see facial recognition technology as a powerful tool, But the many specific instances where facial recognition can be helpful need to be weighed against growing concerns about the use of this technology as a whole.”Jerome Pesenti – Meta Artificial Intelligence VP
Source: The Verge
According to Pesenti, more than one-third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted into Facial Recognition scanning, and the imminent update would remove over a billion face recognition profiles. As a result of the change, Facebook’s automated alt-text system for blind users will no longer name persons while evaluating and summarizing material, nor will it recommend people to tag in images or automatically inform users when they appear in photos and videos submitted by others.
Removing a feature that has been utilized for years is a major loss for the company, but as Facebook is innovating, the company will surely extend multiple ways to secure their privacy. The company is also planning to launch a smartwatch with two cameras in it.
Facebook recently also introduced an exciting AR feature to its Messenger. Facebook Messenger now lets the whole group enjoy AR Experience. The feature is available on Video Calls, Messenger Rooms and will soon arrive to Instagram.