Facebook shutting down facial recognition and deleting face scans of users

Facebook has announced that it plans to shut down its facial recognition system that has been around for a decade, amid numerous concerns, investigations and lawsuits.

The tech giant on Tuesday announced it will delete face scan data of more than one billion users later this month.

The decision stems from ‘many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society’, wrote Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Meta, which is Facebook’s new parent company.

Facebook viewed facial recognition as a powerful tool, but ‘every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit and concern, and we want to find the right balance’, Pesenti wrote in a blog post.

Facial recognition was introduced in 2010 and automatically identified people in users’ photo albums. It also provided suggestions for users to ‘tag’ people and link to the corresponding accounts. Facebook said it was designed to save time for its users.

As a result, Facebook amassed one of the biggest collections of digital photos in the world.

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