Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, has filed a lawsuit against Meta. The reason is the company’s facial-recognition system which collects biometric data on users – an action which is against Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act law.
In November last year, Meta announced that it is planning shutting down the facial recognition system. Templates for more than 1 billion users were supposed to be deleted.
Facebook is accused of not gaining users’ permission to collect their biometric data and not demolishing that information in a reasonable period of time. It is also said that the company collects biometric data even to people who are not Facebook users via its facial identifier.
According to the suit, the state can enforce a civil penalty for up to $25,000 per violation of Texas’ Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act. The state also has agreed that the company is guilty of violating the law and asked for an additional $10,000 civil penalty for each violation of that law. Texas demands that Facebook put Texans under a risk of having their personal information stolen. The suit said:
“Unlike other identifiers, such as Social Security numbers, which can be changed when stolen or misappropriated, biometric identifiers are permanent.”
When asked for a comment, Meta did not immediately respond.