Facial recognition: Facebook promises to remove more than a billion modeled faces

Even if you had activated it, facial recognition on Facebook is going to be completely abandoned. Over a billion modeled faces would need to be removed. The social network says it understands the “growing concerns” on the subject, although it defends its interest in matters of fraud or fraudulent use of the image of an Internet user.

Facebook will stop using artificial intelligence to identify faces in videos and photos posted on its platform. This was announced by Alexandru Voica, head of marketing specialized in tech of the Meta group (the new Facebook), in a series of tweet published on November 2, 2021, sharing an official blog post on the subject.

Until now, facial recognition on Facebook was used to detect photos and videos in which it was possible that an Internet user appeared, without having been tagged by someone. For example, if you were photographed in the middle of a demonstration in the street by Jean-Michel and Jean-Michel had posted the photo on Facebook without alerting you, the social network could warn you that traits similar to yours had been detected.

One of the problems with this option, integrated since April 2018 on Facebook, is that it was practically activated by default until 2019. As noted at the time a Figaro journalistit took no less than five steps to refuse to have it implemented on his private account.

How Facebook Face Recognition Works

The option was then deactivated by default: since 2019, you had to accept that Facebook analyzes the photos and videos where you have already been tagged. Then Facebook’s algorithm assigned your trait a kind of ” number unique to you, called a model “explained the platform, to then be able to compare this number to the other photos posted on its site. ” We do not share your model with anyone “warned the social network all the same.

This protection was obviously not enough for Facebook. ” We always refer to the fact that facial recognition technology is a powerful tool for people to verify their identity and prevent fraud (…) Nevertheless, the cases where facial recognition can improve things must be weighed against the growing concerns that surround the use of this technology at the global level “continued Alexandru Voica.

On its official website, the Meta group also mentions the fact that the ” regulators are still in the process of delimiting precise rules to frame its use », clearly states the idea of ​​a preventive decision on the part of Facebook, so as not to risk weighing down its already negatively charged reputation.

The social network – and by continuity, its parent company Meta – has been the subject of much criticism for several months, especially since the revelations of whistleblower Frances Haugen, who showed that the multinational was aware of many potential dangers brought about by his methods.

How to check if facial recognition is enabled on your Facebook account

People who had activated facial recognition “ will no longer be automatically activated on photos and videos “, clarified Alexandru Voica. But above all, the famous model which had been created for each Internet user who activated facial recognition should be deleted.

Facebook did not specify that this should concern ” over a billion of users, which is consistent, knowing that the option was activated by default between 2018 and 2019.

This change is supposed to take place” in the next weeks ”, maximum by December 2021. If you want to check if facial recognition is activated on your account, you can go to this link. If you want to deactivate it, then just click on “ Nope below the question Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize whether you appear in photos or videos?»

The multinational will however keep facial recognition for “ a few services, such as those that allow people to recover their account when it’s locked, or unlock a person’s devicel,” she added.

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