Facebook will shut down facial recognition system

Facebook, recently renamed to Meta, will stop using the Face Recognition system on its platform, affecting 600 million users who opted to be a part of it so far, the company announced on Tuesday.

Consequently, Facebook will permanently delete over a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates. The company cited “difficult tradeoffs” that impacted the decision, emphasizing the positive usage of facial recognition in the platform’s Automatic Alt Text system, which creates automatic captions for visually impaired users, while acknowledging the technology’s privacy considerations.

“We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules,” the announcement stated.

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