VGG Face facial recognition dataset

Released: 2015
Occurred: May 2019

Can you improve this page?
Share your insights with us

VGG Face is a dataset of 2.6 million facial images of 2,622 people that was created to provide researchers working on facial recognition systems with access to biometric data.

The dataset mostly comprises celebrities, public figures, actors, and politicians whose names were chosen 'by extracting males and females, ranked by popularity, from the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) celebrity list.' Information about ethnicity, age, and kinship was also collected from IMDB.

According to Adam Harvey at, at no point did any individual who's personal details were collected provide consent or information about how it was being used - raising the question as to whether the images of public figures should be available for any organisation or person to use as they see fit.

The dataset has since been removed from Oxford University's website.

Operator: ChaLearn; Chinese Academy of Sciences; Delft University of Technology; Simula Research Laboratory; University of Applied Sciences & Arts Western Switzerland; University of California, Berkeley; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
University of Oxford

Country: UK

Sector: Research/academia

Purpose: Develop facial recognition systems

Technology: Dataset; Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Copyright

Transparency: Privacy