The biggest rebrand of the decade may be Facebook’s change to Meta Platforms, Inc. Or it could simply be a distraction. (Source: Meta)

Facebook Ends Facial Recognition Algorithms Due to Ethics Concerns

When you think of facial recognition and its use by authorities you think of China. There is very little that goes on in nearly every part of China’s major cities that are not caught, decoded, and noted by the AI the authorities use. China knows who you are, and where you are any time you are in public places. And that’s not even mentioning the private cc cameras in use every day in the shops and their homes that are in operation. However, there is some news regarding cutting off the use of facial recognition by the world’s largest social network platform. has a piece this week that covered the announcement from Facebook, Inc. regarding its use of facial recognition. They are going to shut some of it down. Not all of it though.

The part they are shutting down automatically identifies users in photos and videos. The vice president of AI for Facebook mentioned in his blog:

“Regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use,” Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Facebook. “Amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate.”

This apparently is in response to the scrutiny FB has been facing recently over ethical issues.

Critics say facial recognition technology, which is popular for security purposes, could compromise privacy, target marginalized groups and normalize intrusive surveillance. However, there have been several municipalities across the country that have restricted the use of facial recognition in their law enforcement policies. There are also several corporations that have led the way in restricting this type of technology.

IBM has permanently ended facial recognition product sales, and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O) and, Inc. (AMZN.O) have suspended sales to police indefinitely.

The company, which last week renamed itself Meta Platforms, Inc., said more than one-third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted into the face recognition setting on the social media site, and the change will now delete the “facial recognition templates” of more than 1 billion people.

Facebook says the removal should be complete by Christmas of this year. covered the story about Facebook being fined this year for using facial recognition improperly in Illinois. A judge approved Facebook’s $650 million settlement of a class action in Illinois over allegations it collected and stored biometric data of users without proper consent.

“Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that although Facebook’s action comes after moves from other tech companies, it could mark a ‘notable moment in the national turning-away from face recognition.’ “

I guess we will have to wait and see. Pun intended.