Facebook has been using facial recognition in the photos and videos that users post on the platform since 2010. In this way, the social networking site encourages people to tag relatives and friends.
Parent company Meta now wants to put an end to this, for privacy reasons. The US tech giant announced today the removal of all “facial recognition templates” the company uses to identify people in other photos – more than a billion of them -. More than a third of daily active Facebook users have facial recognition enabled.
In its own words, Meta wants to “find the right balance” between the benefits of technology and the concerns around it. “There should be an open public discussion about the long-term role of facial recognition in society, and conducted by those most affected by it,” the company says.
However, getting rid of facial recognition technology means that people in pictures can no longer be recognized in “alt text”, a technology used for blind and partially sighted people.
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