Here’s why you no longer see certain Facebook and Instagram filters in Illinois – NBC Chicago

Bunny ears, flower crowns, and a wide variety of other filters can be used to beautify photos on some social media platforms. But if you’re looking for such augmented reality effects on Facebook and Instagram, you might be in trouble – at least in Illinois and Texas.

Meta, the parent company of the two social networks, has disabled some augmented reality features on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms such as Messenger, Messenger Kids and Portal. The move follows a settlement in a $650 million privacy lawsuit against Facebook alleging the company used photo tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users – in violation of Illinois law.

Earlier this year, the Texas attorney general filed a lawsuit against Meta, claiming the company unlawfully collected biometric data from residents for commercial purposes, without their informed consent.

Passed in 2008, Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act states that companies are not allowed to collect, store or disclose “biometric data,” which includes things like facial or fingerprint scans. digital, without notice and without obtaining personal consent. A lawsuit was filed against Facebook in 2015, alleging the company violated that law by collecting and storing biometric data — the physical characteristics — of users without their consent through features such as facial recognition technology.

The three companies behind the lawsuits said the social network never told users that its photo tagging system used facial recognition technology to analyze photos and create and store “face templates”. as part of the $650 settlement.

Facebook changed its technology in 2019, replacing the tool with a broader facial recognition setting, which was disabled by default. The website announced that it would shut down its recognition software entirely in 2021.

Illinois has generally been considered one of the most aggressive places in the world when it comes to technology regulations. Other states, including Texas and Washington, have biometric privacy laws, but none allow consumers to sue — what’s called a private right of action.

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