Texas suing Meta over facial recognition technology


Gibson McMonagle, Staff

Header Image: Forbes.com

Texas is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in penalties due to Meta’s Facebook collecting facial recognition data. 

Facebook is falling into problems with the government again for violating privacy terms with their customers. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is taking the heat due to selling data of people’s faces to third parties. The problem comes because they did not destroy the data in a timely manner. 

Facebook and Meta have both been using facial recognition for a while now to help support their programs. Meta has a budding virtual reality system and Facebook’s social media supports facial recognition to increase protection on accounts. 

One of the complaints in the files reads “Facebook repeatedly captured Texans’ biometric identifiers without their consent not hundreds, or thousands or millions of times — but billions of times, all in violation of CUBI and the DTPA.” CUBI is the Capture or Use of a Biometric Identifier Act. This act requires privacy for participants using the technology. DTPA stands for the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Facebook is being accused of violating this act by selling data captured from the users of their products. 

What is interesting about this lawsuit is that Facebook shut down its facial recognition feature in November. They wanted to weigh the positives of using it while also thinking about the growing concerns of holding users’ data. 

Not too long ago, Facebook was in a major lawsuit for how they handled the data that they have been collecting. The previous lawsuit had Facebook paying $650 million for not informing their users of the data they were collecting. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton states, “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.” Texas is in full swing to stop “yet another of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices,” said Paxton.

Right after the lawsuit was announced, Meta stated that they would delete the data of over one billion users. The company seems to be fully prepared to deal with the lawsuit and plans to fight against the claims made against them. Not many states have been focusing on biometric privacy, and now Texas is stepping into the ring on this problematic feature.