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Facebook shuts down auto face tagging feature: What it means for you


Facebook (rebranded to Meta) has announced that it is shutting down its auto face tagging system which was available on the social media platform. This system was powered by facial recognition and figured out the people in the photos by identifying their faces. The tech giant has also announced that it will delete facial recognition templates of more than a billion individuals.
Users faces will no longer be automatically recognised in photos, videos or Memories and users won’t be able to turn this feature on again. Although Facebook is still encouraging users to tag their posts manually, the automatic process will no longer be available. Moreover, another feature named Automatic Alt Text which was developed to create image descriptions for blind people will no longer have the person’s name in the recognised photo.
Facebook has confirmed that this feature will come into action in the upcoming weeks and it says that it needs to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against the increasing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules’.

The company also cited that ‘long-term role’ of facial recognition in our society “needs to be debated in the open and among those who will be most impacted by it”. Facebook also promised that it will keep on “engaging in that conversation and working with the civil society groups and regulators who are leading this discussion”.
This move was taken by Facebook citing the increasing societal concerns about using this technology, as the tech industry faces criticism over the past years about the ethics. Vice President of the artificial intelligence wing of Facebook wrote in the company’s blog post, “Regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use, amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate.”

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