Microsoft deletes face recognition database with 10 million images
Priya Wadhwa

Microsoft deletes face recognition database with 10 million images

Calls US politicians to better regulate recognition systems.

Facial recognition has become prevalent around the world – most of us use it almost every day. Whether it is by unlocking your phone, governments keeping track of citizens, or your devices grouping certain pictures together, the feature is everywhere.

Before the technology companies, like Microsoft, Google, and Apple, came to this point, they had to develop an extensive database of pictures in order to train their algorithms to detect certain patterns and commonalities.

One of these databases, which included faces of celebrities from mostly the United States and United Kingdom, was created by Microsoft.

The massive set of more than 10 million images, called the MSCeleb database, was compiled from images of celebrities found online.

Recently, Microsoft announced that it had deleted the database, after Microsoft president Brad Smith had asked the US Congress to take on the task of regulating the use of facial recognition systems because they had "broad societal ramifications and potential for abuse".

"You can't make a data set disappear. Once you post it, and people download it, it exists on hard drives all over the world." - Adam Harvey, Megapixels
Adam Harvey, Megapixels

Some users remain skeptical of the effectiveness of such a move by Microsoft; as those who downloaded a copy of the database, can still use it.

Learn more about the noticeable move by Microsoft here.