Facebook is shutting down its controversial facial recognition system so your photos and videos will no longer be automatically detected. People who have enabled the Face Recognition feature will not be recognized in photos. Facebook has stated that it would remove the face recognition template that was used to identify them. The removal of the face recognition system, which it deployed ten years ago, is the social media giant’s first strategic step after changing its parent company to Meta. The feature has long been chastised by society’s watchdogs for its privacy flaws and exploitation.
The facial recognition algorithm recognized persons who appeared in photos and videos uploaded by users. Facebook displayed a message requesting users to tag themselves in photos uploaded by Facebook friends and acquaintances. While individuals may not see the negative effects of the function, cyber security professionals have constantly expressed concern about how the feature might be abused by governments.
Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence, Meta, said “Every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit and concern, and we want to find the right balance. In the case of facial recognition, its long-term role in society needs to be debated in the open, and among those who will be most impacted by it. We will continue engaging in that conversation and working with the civil society groups and regulators who are leading this discussion.” He reiterated that the company sees the facial recognition system as an important tool but doesn’t want to overlook its concerns.