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Facebook to remove facial recognition data from more than 1 billion users

Meta announced that it will deactivate the facial recognition system on Facebook. A measure that will be implemented in the coming weeks and that will mean that more than one billion users’ facial recognition template data will be erased.

As the Meta team mentions, this represents more than a third of the daily active Facebook users who have activated this feature.

Meta closes its facial recognition system on Facebook

One of the configuration options that Facebook has is the one that activates facial recognition. When the user enables this option in their account, Facebook creates an individual facial recognition template to identify if it appears in certain videos and photos.

A dynamic that will no longer be implemented on Facebook, as announced by the Goal team:

People who have chosen to participate will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos and we will remove more than 1 billion individual facial recognition templates. […] We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.

So facial recognition algorithms will no longer be used to automatically recognize users in different content, or for tag suggestions.

The Meta team mentions that one of the Facebook sections that will also see changes due to the removal of the facial recognition system are the descriptions of images for people with vision problems. The descriptions generated by the Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) system will no longer include the names of the users who are recognized in the photographs.

This change will represent one of the biggest changes in the use of facial recognition in the history of technology. More than a third of daily active Facebook users have opted for our facial recognition settings and can be recognized

This action that Meta will take does not mean that it is no longer interested in facial recognition technology. In the statement they mention its potential and the multiple uses of this technology, but also take into account the concerns that revolve around it.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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