This week, Facebook announced they are discontinuing their Face Recognition system and deleting the individual facial recognition templates of more than a billion users who have opted into the program since its introduction in 2010.

In a press release, the company’s VP of Artificial Intelligence said: “We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.”

This update follows Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta and highlights the company’s newly prioritized commitment to protecting the privacy of its users.

The press release states that the company will continue working on facial recognition technology and plans to re-introduce it once the AI personal recognition niche is better regulated, and with privacy, transparency and control measures in place. Potential use cases that developers will be focusing on include verifying an individual’s identity (e.g. to gain access to a locked account), and preventing fraud and impersonation.