Facebook has confirmed that it will move away from facial recognition technology in pictures and videos mainly citing concerns with regards to privacy and racial bias. 

The facial recognition tech has been a regular part of the social media giant’s offering, however, has normally required users to opt-in, should they want to engage with the feature. 

Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at the firm, underlined in a blog post that ‘ongoing uncertainty’ has led to the limiting of facial recognition – with it now being the case that a narrow set of cases is appropriate. 

Facebook has undergone significant alterations in recent months, with it also changing its brand to Meta and deleting around 1bn faceprints, as it seeks to evolve its offering. 

Existing photos that are using the tech and have been tagged won’t be eradicated or changed from the site, as only future images are impacted by the move of the social media site.

It comes at a time when Facebook is undergoing backlash over how much it focuses on user safety, with calls from whistleblower,  Frances Haugen, for the resignation of Chief Mark Zuckerberg. 

Social media giants are taking a deeper focus on safety – Earlier in the year, social media giant, TikTok, which experienced rapid growth throughout the pandemic, came to an agreement to pay $92m (£66m) in order to settle a lawsuit accusing it of misusing artificial intelligence.

At the time, the firm stated: “While we disagree with the assertions, rather than go through lengthy litigation, we’d like to focus our efforts on building a safe and joyful experience for the TikTok community.”