Ground Report | New Delhi: Facebook facial recognition software; Facebook has announced that it will no longer use facial recognition software that recognizes people’s faces in photos and videos. Concerns were being raised about the right or wrongness of this technique and questions were being asked about privacy, racist bias, and its accuracy.
However, the company says that the regulators monitoring this technology have not yet made any clear rules regarding its use. But due to this technology, Facebook was being heavily criticized for the effect it would have on its users.
Facebook facial recognition software
Until now, users on the app could choose to have a feature that recognized their face and had access to information if someone else posted their photos on Facebook. Jerome Pesenti, vice president at the company’s Artificial Intelligence Unit, wrote in a blog – “In the current environment of uncertainty, we believe that the use of facial recognition is inappropriate.”
In 2019, a US government study found that the technology could not accurately identify the faces of African-Americans and Asians compared to Caucasian faces.
The study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology also found that the situation of African-American women was worse. Last year, Facebook settled a long-standing legal dispute over the scanning and tagging of images.
The lawsuit, which has been going on since 2015, agreed that the company would pay $550 million to certain Illinois users who complained that facial recognition features violate state privacy laws. On the other hand, other tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft used to sell this technology to the police but seeing the controversy growing, they have postponed it.
The world’s largest social media network company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, continues to face pressure from regulators and politicians. In the US, the Federal Trade Commission has filed a case accusing it of adopting a wrong policy towards its competitors.
For many years, Facebook has also given people the option to be automatically notified when they appear in photos or videos posted by others, and who to tag in the photo. Recommendations are provided. These features are also powered by the face recognition system that we are discontinuing.
false picture about Facebook
This includes services that help people gain access to a locked account, verify their identity in financial products, or unlock a personal device. These are places where facial recognition is widely valued and socially acceptable to people, when deployed with care. While we will continue to work on such use cases, we will ensure that people have transparency and control over whether they are automatically identified.
Last month, a former employee of the company also accused the company of unfair treatment. Francis Hogan released some documents and said that they showed that the company put its profit above the safety of the users.
The company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said on the allegation that these claims are part of a planned effort to paint a false picture about the company. Facebook recently changed the name of its parent company to META, following persistent negative reports about its brand. Zuckerberg stated that the Facebook name “probably didn’t reflect everything they do today, and that’s a different matter in the future”, so a change was necessary.
This will lead to several changes:
- Our technology will no longer automatically recognize when people’s faces appear in memories, photos or videos.
- People will no longer be able to turn on face recognition for suggested tagging or see a suggested tag with their name in photos and videos. is in a photo or video.
- The change will also affect Automatic Alt Text (AAT), a technology used to create image descriptions for people who are blind or visually impaired. AAT currently identifies people in about 4% of photos. After the change, AAT will still be able to identify how many people are in a photo, but will no longer attempt to identify who each person is using facial recognition. Otherwise, AAT will continue to function as normal, and we will work closely with the blind and visually impaired community on technology to continually improve AAT. You can learn more about the meaning of these changes for people using AAT on the Facebook Accessibility page.
- If you have selected our face recognition setting, we will remove the template used to identify you. If you have the face recognition setting turned off, there is no template to delete and no change will take place.
- Every new technology brings with it the potential of both profit and concern, and we want to find the right balance. In the case of facial recognition, its long-term role in society needs to be openly debated, and among those most likely to be affected by it. We will continue to engage in that conversation and continue to work with the civil society groups and regulators who are leading this discussion.