How Will Facebook’s Decision to Shut Down Facial Recognition Tag Affect Its Users? 

  • 25th Nov'21
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Facebook is ruling the roost when it comes to making headlines. The company has been the talk of the town globally for changing the name of its parent company to Meta. Now, once again, Facebook has made headlines. Facebook has shut down its old facial recognition system, creating quite a buzz. Also, Facebook AR smart glasses were a topic of discussion among the youth. 


What is Facebook’s Facial Recognition System? 

Whenever you have posted a picture on Facebook with your friends, you were always asked to tag people with you. You also might have received tag suggestions from Facebook itself, which recognized people through its facial recognition system. 

If sources are to be believed, Facebook took this decision because this system fueled many controversies that raised privacy concerns, government investigations, a class-action lawsuit, and regulatory woes. You should also know the expert's opinion on Facebook's new AI: SEER. 

Jerome Pesenti, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Meta, Facebook’s newly named parent company, said that the social network was making the change because of “many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society.” He added that the company still saw the software as a powerful tool, but “every new technology brings with it potential for both benefit and concern, and we want to find the right balance.”


Facebook shuts down facial tag recognition system


How does Facial-Recognition Work? 

The face recognition feature was introduced by Facebook in December 2010. The feature was introduced so that it could save time for both the users and the company. 

The facial recognition software identifies the people automatically who are seen in the picture that was recently uploaded. After identifying the people, it suggests that you tag the person it has identified. This enables users to tag the people with just a click. 


Why did Facebook Shut Down this Feature? 

Facebook used its facial-recognition feature on its own website and did not sell it to any other company or party. Despite this, the company had to undergo privacy and regulatory issues. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined the company $5 billion and the facial recognition system was one of the major concerns. 

Also, it is alleged that a former Facebook employee leaked thousands of internal documents that landed this social media giant into a series of legal issues. The company also went through intense public scrutiny. 

There were a series of lawsuits filed against Facebook that raised concerns about using the facial recognition system. 


Facebook shuts down facial tag recognition system


How does it affect the users? 

According to the company reports, most of the users who had this feature activated in their profiles will be affected by this decision. This counts for the third of the total users of Facebook globally. The users who had turned on the facial recognition feature would get notifications about any of their pictures or videos uploaded on the social network. People also used this feature to flag accounts that were possibly fraudulent.

Though Facebook will stop the use of facial recognition but will not delete the software, Facebook’s facial recognition software has a long and expensive history. When the software was rolled out to Europe in 2011, data protection authorities there said the move was illegal. The company needed consent to analyze photos of a person and extract the unique pattern of an individual face. In 2015, the technology also led to the filing of the class-action suit in Illinois.



Though people from the legal fraternity have applauded the decision, concerns prevail on the prevention of the photos on Facebook from other facial recognition systems outside Facebook. 


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About the author:

Prachi Chouksey (Editor), Super admin

An artist by heart and a writer by profession, Prachi is a vivacious reader.  She believes in hard work and her dedication has never let her down. She puts her heart and soul in everthing she does. Though life has not been a bed of roses for her, she affirms that the best way to live it is to maintain an equillibrium between the tunes of life.  

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