Facebook announced a few months ago that it would stop using facial recognition, artificial intelligence software that recognizes people in photos and videos and generates suggestions on who to “tag” them. Controversial facial recognition systems found in most social media apps identify people by matching faces with digital representations of faces stored in a database. Facebook has over a billion files of these representations but now says it will delete them.
This company notice to users reflects Facebook’s change of hand, reflecting the company’s focus on the “metaverse,” an internet vision that uses technology such as virtual reality to integrate the real and digital worlds.
The name change was probably also related to Facebook’s desire to detoxify its image. In recent years, the social media giant has been embroiled in a number of controversies. In 2018, the UK’s data protection watchdog Information Commission Office fined Facebook £500,000 for its role in the Facebook face detection scandal. It is hoped that the facial recognition gesture does not respect users’ privacy, in which case it will be an attempt to introduce a new, responsible image focused on protecting users’ privacy.
Security Issues and Damage
Pesenti said that although facial recognition technology is a powerful tool for verifying identity, people’s faces can be used for unusual identity theft and have a rather inhibiting effect on personality rights and privacy on the one hand. She noted that there were “many concerns” about the place of facial recognition technology in society, and that regulators are still trying to catch up.
Facial recognition is most valuable when it only works on a person’s device—for unlocking iPhones, for example—rather than communicating with an external server as Facebook tech works.
What will happen to tagged photos?
In response to this question from the authorized person, a Facebook spokesperson said that there will be no change to existing tagged photos or videos tagged using technology, but that tags will be automatically removed from those tagged with automatic face recognition.
Will it be replaced with something else?
He said he believes there are a number of potentially positive use cases for the facial recognition plug-in in the future and something the company will explore with further research into it, but privacy, control and transparency will be at the forefront.
This means that these face recognition systems are shelved for a while to be brought up again in the future.