Meta disables some Instagram filters in Texas and Illinois due to facial recognition laws
Instagram users in Texas and Illinois can no longer choose some of their favorite filters after Meta — the app's parent company, which also owns Facebook — disabled them "due to state facial recognition laws," Complex Magazine reports.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a lawsuit against Meta in February, a Texas CBS affiliate reports, alleging the facial recognition technology was not being used properly. The Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act requires that users give a company consent to store their biometric data, and that rule was not being consistently followed, the lawsuit alleges. A similar, recently settled suit in Illinois, likewise accused Facebook of storing biometric data from users without their consent.
"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," Meta said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
Axios reports the company is in the process of making an "opt-in system" that would allow users to use the filters again.