Facebook has repeatedly landed in hot water with local governments around the country for its controversial use of facial recognition technology. And though the company has stopped gathering this biometric data, it’s still facing consequences from the years when it did in states like Illinois and Texas. That’s why Facebook announced this week that it’s preemptively turning off augmented reality filters for users in these states to prevent future privacy litigation.
The social media giant recently had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Illinois users after it was found the company violated a biometric data law in the state, and Texas is pursuing a similar case. With this move, Facebook is likely hoping to steer clear of even more punishments.
“The technology we use to power augmented reality effects like masks, 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 Meta spokesperson said in a statement to Axios. “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.”
Facebook seems to be trying to downplay this policy change, though it’s clear the company takes the threat of privacy litigation seriously. Hopefully cases like the ones in Illinois in Texas continue to prod the company into making these positive changes.
The Choice of Tech Experts Worldwide. Try 90 days free of Bitdefender and experience the highest level of digital safety.
Surf the web truly incognito. Try Bitdefender Premium VPN, the ultra-fast VPN that keeps your online identity and activities safe from hackers, ISPs and snoops.