November 3, 2021

Facebook’s Move To Shut Down Its Face-Recognition System And Delete Faceprints Could Help Prevent Minorities From Being Targetted

 Facebook is planning to shut down its face-recognition system and delete faceprints of more than 1 billion people.

At the present moment – more than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted to have their faces recognized by the social network’s system. That’s about 640 million people.

But according to AP – it recently began scaling back its use of facial recognition after introducing it more than a decade ago.

The move comes years after organizations and people of color complained about how problematic AI and facial recognition is for minority communities with darker skin shades.

Facial recognition risks being weaponized by law enforcement against marginalized communities around the world and there are dozens of examples of this.

Just earlier this year the tech giant was forced to apologize after an A.I. program mistakenly labeled a video featuring Black men as “about Primates.” 

“This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Its removal will result in the deletion of more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates,” he added.

He said the company was trying to weigh the positive use cases for the technology “against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.”

The decision follows moves made by Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM last year to end or pause their sales of facial recognition software to police.

Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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