Meta Is Disabling Certain Instagram Filters in Texas and Illinois Due to Facial Recognition Laws

Facebook and Instagram's parent company, Meta, are disabling the use of certain filters in Texas and Illinois due to state facial recognition laws.

Facebook and Instagram's parent company Meta

Image via Getty

Facebook and Instagram's parent company Meta

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, is disabling the use of certain filters in Texas and Illinois due to state facial recognition laws.

CBS’ West Texas affiliate reports the move arrives after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in February against Meta that alleged the company was not properly using its facial recognition technology. The Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act requires that a company get the consent of users if they end up storing their biometric data, something that was not happening across the board, according to the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Illinois filed a similar lawsuit against the tech giant, claiming Facebook “collected and stored biometric data of Facebook users in Illinois without proper notice or consent”, which allegedly is in violation of Illinois law that covers facial recognition technology.

In response, Meta on Wednesday disabled the use of “any filters using facial geometry, like augmented reality filters, cannot be used within state lines” in both states.

In a statement explaining their reasons for disabling the use of certain filters, Meta wrote: “The technology we use to power augmented reality effects like avatars and filters is not facial recognition or any technology covered by the Texas and Illinois laws, and is not used to identify anyone.”

The company continued, “Nevertheless, we are taking this step to prevent meritless and distracting litigation under laws in these two states based on a mischaracterization of how our features work. We remain committed to delivering AR experiences that people love, and that a diverse roster of creators use to grow their businesses, without needless friction or confusion.”

According to Axios, Meta is working to get the disabled filters back online in both states by creating an “opt-in system.”

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