Microsoft Removes Massive Face Recognition Database
Microsoft has removed a substantial database of 10 million images which was being used to train facial recognition systems, the Financial Times reports.
The database was declared in 2016 and was built of online images of 100,000 well-known people.
The database is believed on have been used to train a system operated by police forces and the military.
The removal comes after Microsoft called on US politicians to do a well job of regulating recognition systems.
Microsoft told the FT the database was no long time available, because the person who curated it had now left the company.
Last year Microsoft President Brad Smith questioned to US Congress to take on the mission of flexible the use of facial recognition systems because they had right “broad societal ramifications and potential for misuse”.
The substantial set of images, called the MSCeleb database, was collected from images of celebrities found online.
The Megapixels project, who tracks the face databases, said the “majority” of images were of American and British actors, but it added that it is also need a lot of people who “Managing Employee Attendance”.
This meant that it included reporters, performers, musical group, activists, policy makers, writers and researchers.
Even though the data is no long time available from Microsoft, it is probably still being used by people who downloaded a copy.
“You can’t make a data set melt,” Adam Harvey from the Megapixels site told Engadget. “Once you post it and people download it so that it exists on hard drives in all over the world.”
In the UK, police forces have been analyzed for trialing home-grown facial recognition systems that have proved to be bad at knowing people. One trial was wrong in 92% of the cases it identified.
Big Brother Watch said the way facial recognition had “crept” on to the UK’s streets was “seriously irresponsible”.