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Removal of “Facial Recognition” on Facebook – Will it Hurt Meta Ads?

METAS first move!

The removal of facial recognition technology on Facebook will be done by December. There could be over 1 billion facial records being deleted. It’s estimated that as many as a 3rd of all Facebook profiles had enabled the facial recognition feature. This is a huge win for privacy advocates (and people that say they are going to the store and end up at the pub!) The use of facial recognition is common for security purposes in public transport, medical fields etc. Privacy experts warn it should not be normalised for entertainment purposes such as social media. This is a strong indication that Facebook via the META rebrand is taking its reputation improvement program very seriously. There are huge commercial advantages in having a database of approx one billion people’s facial profiles. For a company that is essentially in the business of gleaning key user data and selling it back to advertisers in the form of targeted advertising, this would have been a very hard decision to make. It’s certainly going to help Mark Zuckerberg’s negotiating position the next time he fronts the US Senate Committee.

How Will This Affect Facebook Ads?

Facebook aims to recognise user identity in every area of life. When you comment on any article or sign up to book an appointment at a salon or doctor online, you primarily use your Facebook or Google account to log in. With this, Facebook gets a more significant and broader sense of individual & collective preferences. That helps not only to target ads but also personalise them too. After all, Facebook’s database about us is only as good as its ability to figure out that the data collected is assigned to the right user. Otherwise, Facebook personalised ads won’t work. Facebook already has loads of data from our day-to-day behaviour, location check-ins, and other sources. Even if they stop and delete facial recognition, they still have a plethora of data to show us personalised ads. Deleting Face Recognition data is a brilliant PR move to further mute the people and the lawsuits against Facebook. They may be giving up a decade-old weapon, but it won’t impact their revenue very much at all..

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