Why Facebook Shutting Down Its Old Facial Recognition System Doesn’t Matter


On Monday morning, Meta – a company formerly known as Facebook – announced it was closing down the “Face Recognition system on Facebook,” which has been raising secret alarms since its inception. Mu a blog post, the company said the move is “one of the biggest changes in the use of facial recognition in the history of technology.” On Twitter, outgoing CTO Mike Schroepfer and CTO Andrew Bosworth, who previously oversaw Oculus’ Facebook account, called the announcement “great”And“the most important decision. ” Electronic Frontier Foundation are seen “It is a testament to all the hard work that has been done to reduce this disruptive technology.”

But a review of VR and Facebook VR privacy, as well as the company’s answers to a series of questions about them, shows that the company’s face recognition technology is not going anywhere. And that’s just one of the many data collection methods that may be coming your way. (Disclosure: In my earlier life, I held positions on Facebook and Spotify.)

Facebook’s recent announcement that it is shutting down its obvious face-to-face approach comes at a critical time for the company, which is facing a major overhaul afterwards. years for bad journalists recently burned by a very high whistle.

But that can also be a good time. The company is shifting its focus from real-world, face-to-face technology which, essentially, gathers a wealth of information about its users. Based on these data, Meta will have the ability to generate information and monitoring methods that are as powerful as it provides grass. Just because it can perform those functions does not mean that it will. In the meantime, the company is abandoning its open options.

The bottom line: Meta seeks to gather unique, face-to-face information for users. Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg he tells Stratechery’s Ben Thompson’s “one of the newest features” of Cambria’s new Meta theme is “eye contact and facial expressions.” And even though the platform has “stopped working” that already made the face of Facebook users’ faces, The New York Times reported that the company is. to keep algorithm on which the task was based. A Meta spokesman declined to answer questions from BuzzFeed News about how algorithms are being used today.

Meta may have blocked Facebook face recognition, which caused a lot of controversy, but because it wants to maintain the algorithms that run the system, there is no reason why the company could not “burn it down,” according to David Brody, senior adviser to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under. Law.

In the meantime, the Meta privacy policy on VR devices leaves a lot of room for personal, natural information that transcends the user’s face. As Katitza Rodriguez, head of global privacy policy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, described the language as “broad enough to include a wide range of data – which, although not collected today, could begin to be collected tomorrow without informing users. or change the process. “

In essence, real-time tools collect data that is significantly different from user than that of TV platforms. VR headphones can be trained to recognize the user’s voice, their nerves, or the shadow of the iris, or to draw metrics such as heart rate, air pressure, and the factors that make their children thrive. Facebook has granted patents relating to a variety of data collection methods, including one which can use things like your face, voice, or DNA to lock and unlock devices. Wina may consider the “weight, strength, speed, heart rate, heart rate, speed, or EEG data” of the user to create a VR avatar. Patents are often ambitious – about how to use what might not happen – but sometimes they can provide information on the future prospects of the company.

The latest Meta VR privacy policy does not cover all types of data it collects about users. The Oculus Privacy Preferences, Oculus Privacy Policy, and Supplemental Oculus Data Policy, which controls Meta content, provides information about the major data types that Oculus tools collect. But they all describe their data segments (things like “your head position, the speed of your controller and the changes you make as you move your head”). examples in those categories, instead of counting all the contents.

The examples provided also do not reflect the size of the groups that should be represented. For example, Oculus Privacy Policy states that Meta collects “information about your location, physical activity, and size when using an XR device.” It gives you two examples of such collections: most of your VR playgrounds and “technologies like your hand size and hand movements.”

But “more information about your position, body movements, and size” can refer to data that extends beyond the size of the hand and the limits of the game – it may also include careless events, such as shaking, or identifying movements, such as a smile.

Meta twice refused to specify in detail the types of data its tools collect today and the types of data it plans to collect in the future. It also declined to say whether it is collecting, or planning to collect, biometric data such as heart rate, airway, fetal development, iris recognition, voice recognition, nerve recognition, eye movement, or facial recognition. Instead, it pointed to the points linked above, adding that “Oculus VR headsets currently do not use biometric data in accordance with applicable laws.” A company spokesman declined to say which rules Meta considered to be effective. However, another 24 hours after the publication of this article, the company informed us that “currently” does not collect the above data types, and “currently” uses face recognition on its VR devices.

However, Meta provided more information on how you use your information in advertising. The Oculus Extended Work Agreements state that Meta can use most of the “actions [users] will take Oculus ” items for sale and promotions. According to Oculus, as used in the word “act,” the language may refer to advertising that causes us to jump on the bandwagon, which makes us tremble, or cause our hands to sweat.

But for now, Meta is not looking at ads that way. Instead, a spokesman told BuzzFeed News that the company is using a lesser sense of “action” – which does not include what is collected by a user’s VR device.

In 2020 document called “Responsible Innovation Principles,” Facebook Reality Labs explains how it works. The first installment of this series, “Do Not Surprise People,” begins with the words: “We have a clear picture of how our products work and what they do.” In response to questions from BuzzFeed News, Meta said it would take the lead in any future updates, if possible, on how they will collect and use our data.

Without a clear understanding of what Meta is collecting today, “customers may not be able to make informed decisions about when and how to use their business,” Brody told BuzzFeed News. In addition, it is difficult for people to understand any future changes that Meta may make in the way it collects and uses our data if it is not specified exactly what it is currently doing.

Brittan Heller, a lawyer for law firm Foley Hoag and a human rights specialist, said differently: “VR companies are like ‘eight magic balls’ right now. On questions about privacy and security, the obvious answer is, ‘Appearance’ unknown: ask again later. ‘


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