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Texas Is Losing Facebook and Instagram Facial Recognition Filters. Here’s Why.

If you live in Texas, you should be aware of a major change happening when it comes to Facebook and Instagram.

Much like Snapchat, Instagram is known for having filters you can apply over your images and videos.

However, if you live in Texas, you may notice you won’t be able to do many of those facial recognition filters anymore. This also applies to Facebook.

Why is Texas Is Losing Facebook and Instagram Facial Recognition Filters?

Texas is losing facial recognition filters because Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Meta which is Instagram’s parent company.

The lawsuit alleged Instagram used facial recognition technology that violates Texas law and infringes upon Texans’ privacy rights.

Although Meta discontinued facial recognition in November 2021, the lawsuit alleges that part of the problem is that users weren’t aware this was happening and, they want to know where the data went.

Although Meta denies the claims made in the lawsuit, the company announced on Wednesday some filters would no longer be available in Texas.

“The lawsuit that was filed by Texas was seeking penalties in the amount of $25,000 per person affected, which gets into the hundreds of billions of dollars,”

Omar Gallaga, a tech expert

Meta then sent a statement to KXAN saying:

“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.  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.”

Source

For now, Texans may see several filters unavailable on both Instagram and Facebook.

According to reports, Meta announced they will soon launch an “opt-in experience that explains how AR effect placement works” with plans to resume services in Texas across apps and devices.

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos.