Facebook discusses the possibility of using a facial recognition system in its smart glasses

Facebook is considering adding a facial recognition system to new smart glasses, which it plans to release by the end of the year. Ethical issues that may arise from the use of technology have become the reason for the debate.


The discussion on the situation turned on Thursday when BuzzFeed announced an internal company meeting at which an unnamed Facebook employee raised concerns about the use of glasses face recognition. He suggested that users could abuse this option, for example, use it for stalking. In response, the head of the augmented and virtual reality division, Andrew Bosworth, said that the company is studying the legal and ethical side of using a facial recognition system.

“Face recognition can be one of the biggest challenges because this option has clear benefits and incredible risks. And we do not know how to balance these systems “Bosworth said at the meeting.

After that, the head of the division confirmed that he had discussed this topic at a meeting with employees. He also noted that a good product would be popular without this option, but “It would be good to think of several scenarios for using this feature, when it would suit society and regulators”… Bosworth also emphasized the obvious benefits of technology, mentioning a known disease of prosopagnosia, in which it is difficult for a person to recognize familiar faces. The developer emphasized that the technology will also be convenient for use at parties where people cannot remember the names of new acquaintances.

“Face recognition is a very controversial topic, and for a reason. So I said that we are going to hold a public discussion of the pros and cons of this technology. “

The use of such technologies in Facebook products is causing additional discussion due to the social network’s poor reputation for privacy. In 2018, the company became one of the key participants in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A third-party analyst firm used Facebook data to tweak political campaign ads. Presumably, for this, the firm collected data on 87 million users. During the investigation, Mark Zuckerberg had to testify before the US Congress. After that, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined the social network $ 5 billion.

In addition, in 2015, residents of Illinois sued Facebook for illegally collecting biometric data for tagging photos. In January 2021, the company settled the claim, agreeing to pay the plaintiffs $ 650 million. The company will pay $ 340 to each of its 1.6 million Illinois users.

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