The Texas Attorney General on Monday filed a privacy lawsuit against Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms, which allegedly collected facial recognition data without the users’ explicit permission.
Ken Paxton, attorney general, said the social network had violated state consumer protection laws by repeatedly capturing and commercializing biometric data in photos and videos for more than a decade without the users’ informed consent. He said the company also shared data with third parties and failed to destroy the information in a timely manner.
Mr. Pexton said in a statement. “This is another example of Big Tech’s fraudulent business practices, and it should stop. I will continue to fight for the privacy and security of the Texans. “
The lawsuit adds to Matani’s legal battle as local and national regulators target large tech companies for their dominance and practices. In 2019, Facebook agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to create new levels of surveillance in the privacy agreement, for which it also paid a 5 billion fine. The FTC and the attorney general of almost every state also want to break the meta for allegedly squashing competition to maintain its dominance in social networking.
“These claims are unjustified, and we will vigorously defend ourselves,” a Meta spokesman said.
Facebook is suing Texas a year after settling a similar class-action lawsuit in Illinois for 650 million for using face tagging without users’ permission. Facebook failed to dismiss the lawsuit. Under scrutiny for its use of face recognition data, the company also announced in November that it would delete the face recognition data of more than one billion users.
In the absence of federal privacy laws, dozens of states have enacted their own laws on privacy, content moderation and no-confidence. In 2009, Texas passed legislation banning the collection and use of facial recognition and other biometric data, such as fingerprinting and retina scans. Illinois also has its own data privacy law on facial recognition and other sensitive biometric information.
Mr. Paxton said in a news conference on Monday that it was seeking “billions of dollars” in damages. Texas had an estimated 20 million users, and each violation, he said, could carry a 25,000 fine.