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Texas AG Sues Meta for Illegal Biometric Mining via Face Recognition

'This is yet another example of Big Tech's decietful business practices and it must stop... '

(Molly Bruns, Headline USATexas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a suit against Meta Platforms, claiming the company has been collecting biometric data through facial recognition technology, The Epoch Times reported.

“Facebook will no longer take advantage of people and their children with the intent to turn a profit at the expense of one’s safety and well-being,” Paxton said.

“This is yet another example of Big Tech’s decietful business practices and it must stop,” he said. “I will continue to fight for Texans’ privacy and security.”

The suit is addressing a discontinued use of facial recognition, which allowed Facebook to recognize faces from user uploads and recommend tagging friends when uploading a photo.

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The characteristics Facebook is collecting, which are legally defined as “biometric identifiers,” have been identified as iris scans, voice prints, and hand and face geometry from photos videos uploaded to Meta’s services, which include Facebook and Instagram.

Paxton claims this practice has resulted in millions of violations against the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act.

Under this law, companies need to obtain consent from people before collecting biometric data and that data cannot be sold or disclosed to anyone else.

He goes on to say that Facebook has been harvesting information secretly through photos and videos.

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The attorney general’s efforts against Big Tech are not limited to Facebook. Paxton also announced a lawsuit against Google for “allegedly misleading users into allowing location tracking.”

“These claims are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a Meta representative said.

A similar lawsuit was filed in Illinois in 2015 under similar terms and concerning the same facial recognition technology. The suit was settled in 2020 for $650 million.

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