Microsoft Deletes Its Facial Recognition Database

Microsoft has deleted a massive database of 10 million images which was being used to train facial recognition systems, the Financial Times reports. The database was released in 2016 and was built of online images of 100,000 well-known people. The database is believed to have been used to train a system operated by police forces and the military.  

Expert Comments:  

Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET: 

“The deletion of the database is a great move by Microsoft but sadly it might be too late. To have this amount of personal data in one place is, of course, going to become a target for some.  

Sadly, facial recognition still contains a lower than hoped for hit rate but, more importantly, can contain bias and prejudices when used in conjunction with machine learning. Such bias as racial profiling can sometimes be used in vast databases such as these, so it is good to hear this has been deleted before being further used. 

Frustratingly, when data is deleted on the Internet, it’s not usually gone forever. This set of images will no doubt be featured on the dark web and possibly for a price. “ 

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