Anita Allen on Facebook, facial recognition, and privacy

The expert on privacy and data protection law explains why Facebook’s decision to shut down its facial-recognition system is good for privacy rights.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it was shutting down its Face Recognition system and will delete more than a billion people’s individual facial-recognition templates. Facebook, now rebranded as Meta, continues to be in the news over public safety concerns.

Anita Allen.
Anita Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and professor of philosophy.

Anita Allen, the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and professor of philosophy, is an internationally renowned expert on privacy and data protection law. She weighs in the issues surrounding privacy and safety with Facebook’s facial-recognition system.

“This system was implemented without the informed consent of Facebook users,” she explains. “Users may not have been aware of the extent to which posting photographs entailed a loss of control over the use of the images of family and friends posted on Facebook. All around the world, privacy advocates have been raising alarms about biometric systems that facilitate social control through over-surveillance by government and private actors.”

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