AUSTIN, Texas — Texans may notice some of their face-changing filters have been removed from Instagram for fear that they could break Texas laws about facial recognition.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the big concern is that Meta could store your facial data and sell it without your consent. He said that's against state law.
Texas sued Meta for its use of facial recognition technology on Facebook. They said Facebook used the facial recognition data to label or tag you in a photo that you didn't post.
"Facebook basically admits they have been collecting that data for about ten years," said attorney Justin Roberts. "They stopped last fall, apparently. They were collecting all of our facial shapes from photos and videos that we uploaded in different ways to sort of have a database of all the people."
Now it's filters that use facial recognition to change the shape of your face for good or bad that are the new concerns but do these actually break state laws? Roberts said that's debatable.
"They're saying there's no problem, but they want to be super cautious and make sure there's not a problem by withdrawing these filters until they get the consent opt-in stuff in place," said Roberts.
Instagram is expected to add that consent option within the next few months to bring back the filters. If you opt-in, just know that Roberts said it could be risky.
"The last thing Texans want, of course, is to go out in the street and have cameras recognizing where they go," said Roberts. "Even in the lawsuit that the attorney general filed in this case, he was referencing what's happening in China with some of the technology they have. When someone has your facial data, they can use it against you in ways you may not ever think about."
On Tuesday, a company called Clearview AI was ordered not to sell photos from its facial recognition database.
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