Facebook recently said that the Face Recognition technology will no longer be used on their site and that over 1 billion people’s face recognition accounts would be deleted.
To create a unique identity or template, Facebook’s Face Recognition algorithm examines images taken of tagged users and connected users’ profile photos. This template is then used to automatically tag persons in Memories or to identify users in submitted photographs.
Facebook has stated that the Face Recognition function would be discontinued and that all profile templates made by the system will be deleted.
But, according to Jerome Pesenti, VP of Artificial Intelligence, the numerous specific cases where face recognition might be helpful must be evaluated against rising worries about the usage of this technology as a whole.
There are concerns about the role of face recognition technology in society, and authorities are still working on establishing clear guidelines for its usage. Facebook feels that limiting the deployment of face recognition to a limited range of scenarios is the best step as per the current scenario.
Some of these issues have been important for Facebook, which recently agreed to a $650 million settlement with Illinois in a lawsuit alleging that Facebook acquired and kept Facebook users’ biometric data without their consent.
While this is a win for privacy activists, it does come with some drawbacks since more than a third of Facebook’s daily users have chosen to employ the Face Recognition tool.
In the next few weeks, Facebook will shut down its Face Recognition system and delete user templates. If you have enabled Face Recognition, they will remove the template that was used to identify you. There is no template to erase and no change if you have the facial recognition feature turned off.