As massive governmental bodies like European Parliament turn against the use of facial recognition software, the technology has been heavily criticised. As a result, Facebook has started to distance itself from the tech. However, its parent company ― once Facebook, now Meta ― is doing the opposite.
Meta is going all in on facial recognition for The Metaverse
Earlier this week, Facebook revealed that it would be killing its reliance on facial recognition. Over the course of its 17-year history, the company has collected over 1 billion faces. Facebook’s facial recognition tool ― DeepFace ― was primarily used for identifying users in group photos for automatic tagging. Nevertheless, those faces will be deleted from the social media platform.
Despite the social media platform’s removal of these tools, the exact same software will be used by Meta. Reported by Recode, the tech will be utilised in the company’s dystopia-inspired Metaverse project.
Meta spokesperson Jason Grosse told Recode told the outlet that services such as DeepFace will stay active. They said:
“We believe this technology has the potential to enable positive use cases in the future that maintain privacy, control, and transparency, and it’s an approach we’ll continue to explore as we consider how our future computing platforms and devices can best serve people’s needs. For any potential future applications of technologies like this, we’ll continue to be public about intended use, how people can have control over these systems and their personal data, and how we’re living up to our responsible innovation framework.”
Why does The Metaverse need your face?
To be completely honest, person-by-person facial recognition isn’t needed for Metaverse projects. If every user is represented by a customisable avatar of their choosing, then recognising the face behind it isn’t necessary.
Then again, Facebook ― sorry, Meta ― is built upon data collection. With that in mind, the company is already building The Metaverse in a way that would allow it to collect more data than ever before. And that’s scary.