Exactly one week ago today, certain Instagram filters were disabled here in Texas as well as Illinois due to new laws taking effect. 

Here in Texas, it was due to the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act, which was the result of a lawsuit filed against Instagram parent company Meta by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The lawsuit alleges that Meta uses facial recognition technology. 

Meta claims to no longer use facial recognition technology, having discontinued it back in November of 2021.

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Upon removing the filters last week, Meta released a statement explaining why they removed the filters: 

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.

Now users who want to use all of the filters Instagram has to offer should get a notice that explains the filter doesn’t use facial recognition and will give the user the option to “allow” or “don’t allow”, according to KXAN. 

And just like that, all is well in the social media universe. For now, anyway. 

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