Attorney General Ken Paxton asserts that the company, which recently rebranded itself as Meta, violated state law when it captured users’ facial features without proper consent. Paxton was also questioned if his choice of venue for the announcement had anything to do with one of his primary opponents.
The Texas Attorney General’s office is suing Facebook for allegedly violating state law when the social media platform captured and used biometric information from photos or videos uploaded to the site without users’ consent.
“Facebook has been storing millions of biometric identifiers contained in photos and videos uploaded by friends and family who used the social media app,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “The company repeatedly captured biometric identifiers without consent billions of times, in knowing violation of Texas’ Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.”
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The lawsuit also alleges that the information was shared with other parties, and was not destroyed in a timely manner, which exposed Texans “to ever-increasing risks to their well-being, safety and security,” according to the filing, which states that more than 20 million Texans had a Facebook account as of 2021.
The lawsuit, against Facebook parent company Meta Platforms, Inc., asserts that even people who weren’t on Facebook but appeared in photos on the site were harmed by the practice.
“The problem for Texas consumers is unlike a social security number which can be changed, or a driver’s license (number) that can be changes, or other information that potentially could be captured by social media companies, this can’t be changed,” Paxton said.