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Updated on: Wednesday, November 03, 2021, 10:17 AM IST

Facebook to take down facial recognition feature; delete data of more than a billion users

The facial recognition system has been available on Facebook since the year 2011.
Social networking site Facebook  | Photo: Representative Image

Social networking site Facebook | Photo: Representative Image

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San Francisco: Tech giant Facebook has announced that it is shutting down its Face Recognition feature and will also delete the facial data of more than one billion of its users.

The company said more than one third of its daily active users had previously opted for the use of face recognition system, which is more than 600 million accounts.

"This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology's history. More than a third of Facebook's daily active users have opted in to our Face Recognition setting and are able to be recognized, and its removal will result in the deletion of more than a billion people's individual facial recognition templates," Facebook parent company Meta said in a statement.

Facebook Face Recognition feature used to analyse the photos and videos that the company thinks a user is in on the social media platform and it replaced the "tag suggestion" setting on the social network.

This change will also effect Automatic Alt Text (AAT), which creates the descriptions of image for blind and visually-impaired people. Following the change, AAT descriptions will no longer carry the names of users recognised in photos but will operate normally otherwise.

The facial recognition system has been available on Facebook since the year 2011, and it turned the feature on automatically for more than 500 million of its users at the time that it debuted.

"We believe facial recognition can help for products like these with privacy, transparency and control in place, so you decide if and how your face is used. We will continue working on these technologies and engaging outside experts," the firm added.

Face Recognition and the features that it enables will be officially deleted in coming weeks, this comes after the social media giant's recent announcement of changing its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand.

Facebook said it would better "encompass" what it does, as it expands its reach beyond social media into disciplines like virtual reality

With IANS Inputs

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Published on: Wednesday, November 03, 2021, 10:17 AM IST
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