Residents of Illinois and Texas now get to experience added privacy features while using social media. This decision comes after various lawsuits filed throughout the years in scrutiny over state privacy laws.
So what exactly does this mean for social media users? No more face filters.
Facebook and Instagram have decided to turn off their augmented reality filters including avatars and facial recognition features. According to CNET, this progression follows a recent Illinois lawsuit that was filed against a facial recognition company for selling information to private companies.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, made the decision to remove these features specifically in Illinois and Texas to prevent what CNET detailed as a "meritless and distracting litigation."
Meta urged that they will soon offer an opt-in experience for users who desire these capabilities, but in the meantime; they want users to know that augmented reality has very little to do with facial recognition and everything to do with the use of filters and avatars.
"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," a company spokesperson explained.
Just last year, Facebook paid a settlement of $650 million for breaking Illinois state privacy laws by allegedly storing face scans. There are current lawsuits in progress regarding the issue.