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Over billion people’s face data to be deleted as Facebook rolls back facial recognition feature

Facebook’s move to discontinue the feature that it has used for years comes when it is beset with controversies.

"We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules," said Jerome Pesenti, VP of Artificial Intelligence at Meta (formerly known as Facebook). Days after Facebook changed its company name to Meta in a bid to be known for more than social media and its ills, the company announced that it was shutting down its facial recognition programme. What will it impact? From now on, people (almost 1/3rd of Facebook users) who opted in for Facebook's facial recognition system will no longer be automatically recognised in photos and videos The social media platform intends to delete more than "billion people's individual facial recognition template", Pesenti said. "If you have the face recognition setting turned off, there is no template to delete and there will be no change," he added. This change will also have an impact on Automatic Alt Text (AAT), which is a tool that creates image descriptions for blind and visually-impaired people. "After this change descriptions will no longer include the names of people recognised in photos but will function normally otherwise," Pesenti said. People will no longer be able to turn on face recognition for suggested tagging or see a suggested tag with their name in photos and videos they may appear in, Pesenti said. This is probably the first time that a big tech company has shut down a facial recognition feature and it sets an important precedent. Closer home in India, there…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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