Facebook’s parent company Meta has announced it is shutting down its facial recognition system.
Meta will delete “more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates.”
The system will no longer automatically recognize users who opted in. That means that the system will no longer automatically suggest tagging people on photos and videos.
That also means that users will no longer be notified when they appear in photos or videos posted by others.
“This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” said Jerome Pesenti, VP of Artificial Intelligence at Facebook.
“More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted into our Face Recognition setting,” he continued.
Pesenti cited “growing societal concerns” and lack of clear regulation as a reason for discontinuing the service.
Meta is undergoing a massive rebranding effort, amid recent PR disasters. Service outages, whistleblower testimony and bipartisan calls to break up the company are hurting the company’s reputation – and profits.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg will need all the goodwill he can get to convince the public – and Meta’s shareholders – to support his vision of the metaverse.
Shares of Meta (FB) traded up $1.16, or 0.35% at $329.24 in midday trading on Wednesday.