The technology that allows Facebook facial recognition violated state privacy protection. This is what Texas attorney general’s office said and sued Meta’s Facebook.
According to the office, the giant’s technology violated state privacy protections. Thus, it collected the biometric data of millions of people, without their consent.
Facebook facial recognition, used for biometric info
So, the attorney says that Facebook captured biometric info from photos and videos of the users, with no consent. Moreover, it disclosed the information with others and did not destroy it.
Thus, Ken Paxton, Attorney General, mentioned that this “deceitful business practices” must stop. He emphasized that this is yet another example of the Big Tech’s practices.
The Wall Street Journal reported first about this. So, according to its sources, the state is asking for hundreds of billions of dollars in civil penalties.
The company reacted “vigorously”
Meta’s reaction came, also. Thus, a spokesperson mentioned that the claims “are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”
There is a history regarding the Facebook facial recognition system. So, back in November, the company mentioned that it was shutting down a similar system.
Also, Meta added it would delete more information of more than a billion people. Back then, the action was triggered by the concerns about use of this technology. On top of it, it was the uncertainty over the rules for its use.
Meta settled previous lawsuits
So, Meta settled a $650 million agreement in 2020, when an Illinois state lawsuit dealt with the same issues.
According to the new lawsuit, more than 20 million inhabitants of Texas have a Facebook account. And Facebook “captured Texan’s biometric identifiers without consent […] billions of times.”
Meta and its Facebook have to handle more and more pressure. Last month, France decided to fine Facebook and Google for their cookie tracking systems. The authorities found that the companies made it too difficult for users to reject their tracking technology.