Facebook’s face recognition notification does not apply to the metaverse

Facebook says it will stop using face recognition for photo-tagging. On a Monday blog post, Meta, the social network’s new parent company, announced that the platform will remove face templates from more than a billion people and shut down its face recognition software, which uses an algorithm to identify people in the photos they uploaded to Facebook. This decision represents a major step for acting against facial recognition, which experts and activists have warned is struck by bias and privacy issues.

But Meta’s announcement comes with a couple of large caves. While Meta says face recognition isn’t a part of Instagram and Portal devices, the company’s new commitment doesn’t apply to metaverse products, Meta spokesman Jason Grosse told Recode . In fact, Meta is already exploring ways to incorporate biometrics its emerging metaverse business, which aims to create a virtual, internet-based simulation where people can interact as avatars. Meta also continues DeepFace, the sophisticated algorithm which enhances its photo-tagging face recognition feature.

“We believe this technology has the potential to create positive use cases in the future that maintain privacy, control, and transparency, and this is an approach we will continue to explore as we consider how our future computing platforms and devices best serve the needs of the people., ”Grosse told Recode.“ For any potential future application of technologies like this, we will keep the public informed about the intended use, how people have control over these systems and their personal data, and how we follow our responsible framework for change. “

That facial recognition for photo tagging is leaving Facebook, also known as “great blue app, ”Is certainly important. Facebook in the original launched this tool in 2010 to make its photo tagging feature more popular. The idea is that allowing an algorithm to automatically suggest tagging a particular person in a photo will make it easier than manually tagging them and, perhaps, inspire many people to tag their friends. The software is notified of photos posted by people of themselves, which Facebook uses to create unique face templates tied to their profiles. DeepFace artificial intelligence technology, created from images uploaded by Facebook users, helps match people’s face templates to the faces of different photos.

Privacy experts raises concerns immediately after the feature is launched. Since then, pivotal studies from researchers such as Joy Buolamwini, Timnit Gebru, and Deb Raji It has also been shown that facial recognition can have racial and gender discrimination, and more so not very accurate for women with darker skin. In response to growing opposition to the technology, Facebook has created the opt-in to the face recognition feature in 2019. The social media network also agreed to pay a $ 650 million settlement last year after a lawsuit claimed the tagging tool violated Illinois ’Biometric Information Privacy Act.

It’s possible that defending this particular use of facial recognition technology has become too costly for Facebook and that the social network has already gotten what it needs out of the tool. Meta does not rule out the use of DeepFace in the future, and companies including Google are already involved in face recognition security cameras. Future virtual reality hardware could also collect a lot of biometric data.

“Every time someone interacts with a VR environment like the Facebook metaverse, they are exposed to the collection of their biometric data,” John Davisson, an attorney at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Recode. “Depending on how the system is set up, that data could include eye movements, body tracking, facial scans, voiceprints, blood pressure, heart rate, details about the user’s surroundings, and more. That’s a staggering amount of sensitive information in the hands of a company that has consistently shown that it’s unreliable with our personal data. ”

Many projects now on Meta show that the company has no plans to stop collecting data about people’s bodies. Meta is thriving hyper-realistic avatars that people move as they travel the metaverse, in need tracking a person’s facial movements in real time so they can be recreated through their avatar. A new virtual reality headset that Meta plans to release next year will include sensors that track people’s eye and facial movements. The company is also considering participating in face recognition to the new Ray-Ban smart glasses, which allows wearers to record their surroundings as they walk, and Reality Labs, the Meta center for the study of virtual and augmented reality, conducts ongoing research on biometrics, according to Facebook career website postings.

In addition to Illinois biometric privacy law, there is increasing number of suggestions at the local and federal levels that may restrict how private companies use facial recognition. However, it is unclear when regulators will come to a consensus on how to regulate this technology, and Meta will not focus on any specific legislation it supports. Meanwhile, the company welcomed the celebration of its new announcement. After all, it’s a convenient opportunity to highlight something other than the recent leak of thousands of internal documents revealing that Facebook still not so to stay safe on its platform.

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