RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Following a lawsuit against Meta, Texans will no longer have access to filters on Instagram.

As of May 11, Meta, Instagram’s parent company, has removed the ability to use certain filters as a result of Texas’ facial recognition laws.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Meta claiming the company misused facial recognition technology.

Paxton stated that the filters broke the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act as they learn a user’s face and tags them without consent.

Due to the act’s outlines, any filters using facial geometry can not be used within state lines.

Filters that only change the image color or background will still be available.

Texans are not alone in this ban, as Illinois users are also not allowed to use augmented reality filters due to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

The Texas lawsuit against Facebook was filed in February 2022, a settlement or decision has not been made.

However, the disabling of the filters in Texas was done as a result of the settlement made in Illinois. 

A spokesperson for Meta explained the company’s reason for disabling the filters in a statement provided to ValleyCentral.

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.

Meta Spokesperon

Meta plans to introduce a new opt-in experience that explains how AR effect placement works as the company hopes to resume delivery of these services in Texas and Illinois across their apps and devices.