Facebook announced that it will no longer use facial recognition software to identify faces in photos and videos of its users.
The move comes after many growing concerns about the ethics of facial recognition technology, with questions raised about privacy, racial bias and accuracy Regulators had yet to provide a clear set of rules on the how it should be used, the company said.
Until now, users of the social media app could choose to opt for the feature that would scan their face in pictures and notify them if someone else on the platform posted a photo of them. .
“This change will represent one of the most significant changes in the use of facial recognition in the history of technology,” Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta, wrote in a post on Tuesday.
He said the company is trying to weigh the technology’s positive use cases ” in relation to growing societal concerns, especially since regulators have not yet provided clear rules ”.
The company will remove in the coming weeks “Over a billion individual facial recognition models”, did he declare.
More than a third of daily active Facebook users have chosen to have their faces recognized by the social network system. This represents around 640 million people.
Facebook introduced facial recognition over a decade ago, but has gradually made it easier to turn off the feature, as it was under intense scrutiny by courts and regulators.
Facebook in 2019 stopped automatically recognizing people in photos and suggesting that people “Tag”, and instead of making it the default, asked users to choose if they wanted to use its facial recognition feature.