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Facebook Ditches Facial Recognition, As Concerns Grow

The Company Formerly Known As Facebook has announced it will no longer use facial recognition technology, as concerns grow over its privacy practices.

This is a massive move for the company, and could have wider ramifications for other tech companies, many of who rely upon this technology.

Facebook has used facial recognition since 2010, and for fairly benign reasons: to encourage people to tag others in photos, or to alert users when a photo of them is uploaded.

Nevertheless, the idea of this didn’t sit well with many, and by 2019 the option was turned off by default, although over a third of Facebook’s daily users still opt to use the feature.

Facebook has cited privacy reasons for discontinuing facial recognition, and said it will delete over a billion “facial recognition templates”, which is a sobering and slightly frightening thought.

It is possible that a legal settlement last year, to the tune of US$650 million, for illegal collection of biometrical data may have also swayed the company’s decision.

“Every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit and concern, and we want to find the right balance,” Facebook wrote in the post.

“In the case of facial recognition, its long-term role in society needs to be debated in the open, and among those who will be most impacted by it.”


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