Microsoft Teams adds ‘face enrollment’ feature for meetings – Is your privacy at stake?

Priya Walia

Microsoft Teams has just announced a new update that might raise some eyebrows. The video conferencing service is introducing a “desktop client face enrollment process,” which aims to speed up participant identification during meetings and calls on the Teams Rooms platform. But here’s the catch – users would have to “enroll their face” to join as per the latest entry on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap.

The new feature, aptly named “People Recognition,” requires users to create a “face profile” using advanced facial recognition algorithms. Once created, Teams Rooms equipped with an Intelligent Camera can identify these enrolled individuals and label their identity for all meeting participants, whether in the room or joining remotely.

The innovation in video conferences and meetings promises a more personalized experience, however, some people are slightly concerned. The idea of enrolling their faces with Microsoft can seem unsettling to some, particularly with the name “People Recognition” attached to it.

Microsoft has announced that this feature will be particularly beneficial in conference rooms equipped with Intelligent Cameras. These cameras can recognize the facial profiles of participants enrolled in People Recognition. Hence, the identities of the attendees can be shared with both in-room and remote participants.

Microsoft has set an expected rollout start date of December 2023 for the Teams update. The feature will be available worldwide for both Windows and Mac users.

As we await the release of this slightly controversial update, it remains to be seen how users will respond to the idea of enrolling their faces for better participant identification in Microsoft Teams meetings and calls. Some might embrace the convenience and enhanced experience, while others might hesitate due to privacy concerns.