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Facebook Will Delete Facial Recognition System/Database


In a recent announcement, Facebook stated that it would be shutting down its face recognition system and will delete the library of face scans it has amassed over the years. Many people do not realize that this is a big deal, especially if they do not know how their privacy is at stake due to Facebook’s facial recognition system. Let’s take a look at why this is big news.

Facebook’s Usage of Facial Recognition

Over the years, Facebook has utilized countless photos uploaded by its users to build an unimaginable database of faces, allowing the social media giant to identify individuals using its facial recognition system.

Facebook first introduced its facial recognition system in 2010, a feature that could identify individuals in uploaded pictures. Users were given the option to confirm the identity of the people in their photos, and they would be tagged. According to Facebook, one-third of users opted to use this feature. The feature was convenient in identifying fake accounts and helping the visually impaired to identify people in photos.

Why is Facebook Shutting Down its Facial Recognition System?

The social media giant has explained that the reason for shutting down its facial recognition system has to do with the fact that regulators are unable to keep up with its advancements.

This move comes shortly after the release of the Facebook papers, which revealed that Facebook has known about the potential harm of its services but has failed to do anything about it.

Facebook has dealt with several lawsuits regarding the technology, and the FTC fined the company in 2019.

What will Happen with Faceprints?

Facebook has vowed to delete all Faceprints, but it will continue developing its facial recognition technology, DeepFace. Unfortunately, not much is known about Facebook’s plans regarding DeepFace.

Face Recognition Privacy Concerns

A lot of people fail to realize facial recognition systems can invade their privacy. If companies and governments have access to Faceprints, they can track user movements, preferences, habits, and more via cameras on streets, buildings, and doorbells. Since a face hardly changes, it is easier to track users, for an indefinite amount of time even.

While facial recognition systems have benefits, there is a lot of concern about their illegal usage.

Is Facial Recognition Being Scrapped due to Meta?

Facebook recently announced that the company was being renamed and referred to as Meta Platforms henceforth. The company stated that the name change was a necessity since it was creating a “metaverse.” This Metaverse would be an evolved internet that utilized 3D spaces. The rebrand may be the company’s way to distance itself from the controversy and scrutiny of critics that Facebook has endured in recent years. Keeping this in mind, it is not difficult to see why Facebook ending its facial recognition system could have to do with improving its image. Moreover, it is also possible that Meta could see it as a costly endeavor that they can do without.

What of Facial Recognition Tech Henceforth?

With Facebook shutting down its facial recognition system, there is a possibility that other tech companies will follow suit. Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM already announced that they would stop developing facial recognition tech last year due to algorithm biases and privacy concerns.

While Facebook shutting down facial recognition may seem like a win for privacy, some believe that the social media giant is making a terrible mistake by surrendering to public outrage. Whether this is true or not is to be seen, but one thing is certain: Facebook, now Meta, wants to turn over to a new leaf to elevate the brand to new heights without dealing with previous criticism or controversies.

Tags : Facebook Ends Facial Recognition

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