Facebook is shutting down its facial recognition system. This happens because of the growing societal concerns about the use of such technology.
Thus, in a recent blog post, Jerome Pesenti mentioned that the decision comes “amid this ongoing uncertainty.” The vice president for artificial intelligence explained that regulators should provide “a clear set of rules governing its use.”
Facial recognition raised many concerns
The move comes as the tech industry has faced a few tough reckonings over the ethics of this technology.
Critics say the use of facial recognition technology is a threat to privacy. So, they fear it could target marginalized groups and promote intrusive surveillance. IBM has banned the use and sale of these products. Also, Amazon and Microsoft have suspended sales for police indefinitely.
The technology has become popular among retailers, hospitals, and other businesses. But some are afraid of the consequences. Critics say that it compromises privacy, targets marginalized groups, and normalizes intrusive surveillance.
However, it’s unclear how these fears will turn out in the future. But for now, IBM has permanently ended sales of this kind of products, Microsoft has suspended sales to police indefinitely, and Amazon has paused its sales to government agencies.
It will disappear, but not from all the products
Facebook announced its plan to remove the feature globally by December, a spokesperson said. Therefore, privacy advocacy and digital rights groups are welcoming the move. They called it “a notable moment.”
Moreover, the tool which creates image descriptions for visually impaired people will not include names of people in photos. Still, the company will still use the technology in other products, for identity verification.
Two years ago, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission mentioned its concerns regarding the technology, two years ago. This happened when it announced its decision to fine Facebook $5 billion to settle privacy complaints.
Also, a judge approved a $650 million settlement, over allegations that Facebook collected and stored personal data with no proper consent.
Firefox recently introduced The Global Privacy Control