Facebook to scrap facial recognition

Facebook—under its newly renamed parent company Meta—will begin removing its Face Recognition setting amid safety concerns from users and regulators.

Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Meta, said the company is moving toward “narrower forms of personal authentication.” It will begin wiping facial recognition data from more than 1 billion users over the next few weeks.

The social media company listed 1.94 billion daily active users in the third quarter of 2021, more than 600 million of whom opted in to the Face Recognition setting. 

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What will change? After Facebook removes the data, the app will no longer recognize faces in a photo or offer recommendations for whom to “tag,” or identify in pictures a user posts. An alternative text technology describes an image and the names of people for visually impaired users, but without facial recognition, it will not know who is in a picture. 

Pesenti said Facebook still believes facial recognition can be useful for user security and safety and might implement it in future products. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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