Wall Street Journal: Texas Sues Meta Over Facebook’s Facial-Recognition Practices

February 15, 2022

The Texas Attorney General has sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. for its decade-long use of facial-recognition technology to exploit Texans’ biometric information in violation of Texas law.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the suit alleges that the social media giant, formerly known as Facebook, unlawfully captured Texans’ biometric identifiers for a commercial purpose without informed consent, disclosed those identifiers to others, and failed to destroy them within a reasonable time—all in violation of the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act (“CUBI”). The State also alleges that Facebook engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act. The suit seeks civil penalties in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

According to the complaint, for more than a decade, Facebook built an artificial-intelligence empire on the backs of Texans by deceiving them while capturing their most intimate data, thereby putting their well-being, safety and security at risk. Filed in the state district court in Marshall, TX, the suit seeks civil penalties in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Attorney General Ken Paxton stated: “Facebook has been secretly harvesting Texans’ most personal information—photos and videos— for its own corporate profit… Texas law has prohibited such harvesting without informed consent for over 20 years. While ordinary Texans have been using Facebook to innocently share photos of loved ones with friends and family, we now know that Facebook has been brazenly ignoring Texas law for the last decade.”

According to a press release issued by the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton: “By this illegal activity, Facebook exploited the personal information of users and non-users alike to grow its empire and reap historic windfall profits. 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.”

Led by Keller Postman Partner Zina Bash, our team is honored to partner with General Paxton and the State of Texas to hold Facebook accountable for its countless violations of Texas law and to stop it from ever again engaging in this illegal conduct.

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