Facebook announced that it will stop using facial recognition software that could identify faces in videos and photos on the platform. Many believe that this move is expected to be a major shift for the tech industry as well as the social media giant.
Over the past decade, the social networking platform has come under the radar for collecting large volumes of data from billions of users worldwide.
Active week for Facebook
There has been considerable news surrounding the social media giant over the past week. First, the company announced that it is changing its name to Meta in late October and now, the shutting down of its facial recognition software has made headlines worldwide.
Facebook also said that it will delete all the data it has collected via the use of facial recognition software. The data is primarily linked with the faces of more than a billion users across the globe.
Although the world’s largest social media platform will close down its facial recognition software, it will continue to work on the technology. In addition, it will also use the technology in some of the products that span from different social networks to a pair of futuristic glasses.
Facebook bows down to regulatory pressure?
The recent development was revealed in a blog post written by Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI), Vice President, Jerome Pesenti. The popular social media platform has been frequently scrutinized for the potential real-world harm of its family of social networks.
Kirsten Martin, Professor of Technology Ethics, University of Notre Dame welcomes the decision and termed it as “a good example of regulatory pressure”. Martin also said that the sheer volumes of images Facebook had to maintain and secure was a vulnerability for Facebook in terms of trust and cost.
This decision to stop using the facial recognition software and delete all data linked to it is a U-turn made by Facebook, especially since it’s been a major advocate of the technology.
For the past few years, Facebook has given users the choice of whether they want to use the facial recognition setting which will automatically tag them in videos and pictures.
Facial recognition – boon or bane?
Facial recognition tools have been severely criticized and have controversy written all over them. In recent years, major concerns have been raised pertaining to its accuracy and racial bias.
For example, the software’s accuracy dipped while identifying people of color. Besides, a number of Black men have been arrested wrongfully due to the software. While there is no federal legislation that regulates how the technology is used, a number of cities and states across the U.S. are passing laws to ban or limit its use.
What are your thoughts on facial recognition technology? Do you think Facebook bowed down to regulatory pressure? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.