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Facial Recognition Leads to Texas Crack Down On Apps

(by Aura Starchild | Rare.us) – Texas is cracking down on social media apps that use facial recognition. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claims that the technology violates Texas law.

In 2009, Texas passed a law banning biometric identifiers because they violate Texans’ privacy. This includes “retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.”

In February, Texas sued Facebook’s parent company, Meta. The lawsuit was over nonconsensual data collection. As a result, Meta is no longer allowing Texans to use some of its app features.

Meta told KXAN that the reason for the feature removal is preventative. Further, Meta also claims that it is not facial recognition, but a filter.

“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.”

Facial recognition has been a hot topic for some time.

Data shows that personal information collected via facial recognition technology often results in racial biases. Indeed, it leads to false arrests. This is more likely to occur if you’re not white but can happen to anyone.

The racial bias is attributed to a lack of racial and ethnic equity in the tech field and systemic racism.

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