Facebook’s vice president for artificial intelligence, Jerome Pecenti, said in a blog post that regulators are still working on a clear set of rules governing the use of the system. “Given this continuing uncertainty, we believe it is appropriate to limit the use of facial recognition to a limited number of cases.”
Facebook, which last week announced the renaming of Meta Platforms, said more than a third of its daily active users chose the face recognition settings themselves. The change will now remove the personalized face templates for more than a billion people. The removal will be implemented worldwide and should be completed by December.
Facebook said the technology would now be limited to certain services, such as helping people access their locked accounts or unlocking personal devices.
Experts criticize the system
The technology sector has for many years faced criticism from experts and activists over the use of facial recognition systems. Critics say the technology can compromise privacy and generalize intrusive surveillance, which they call unethical.
AP and Reuters reported that concerns have also been raised by the Chinese government about widespread camera surveillance, especially when the system has been used in an area where a predominantly oppressed minority of Muslim Uighurs live.
Some cities in the United States have already banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other city officials. San Francisco was the first technology to be banned in 2019.
This news comes at a time when Facebook is looking for US lawmakers to protect users on its platform and cases of large-scale fraud. The company is facing its biggest crisis when leaked documents from informant Frances Haugen revealed that the company was aware of actions on the network, but most did not intervene against them.
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