For decades, Americans have understood the truth behind the old adage “don’t mess with Texas”, and it could be that Facebook is about to learn that lesson the hard way.
The social media giant is no stranger to controversy, particularly in regard to its morally-murky data-harvesting policies and tactics, and a great many privacy experts have suggested that the platform could be running afoul of the 4th Amendment of the United States on account of it.
It now appears as though the Lone Star State is going to test that theory in court.
The Texas Attorney General is suing Facebook’s parent company, saying it collected biometric data on Texans for commercial purposes without their informed consent.
Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit Monday in a state district court. The suit claims Facebook parent Meta has been “storing millions of biometric identifiers” — identified as retina or iris scans, voice prints, or a record of hand and face geometry — contained in photos and videos people uploaded to its services, including Facebook and Instagram.Trending:
“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,” Paxton said in a statement. “This is yet another example of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices and it must stop. I will continue to fight for Texans’ privacy and security.”
Facebook responded with a fairly bland statement.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California, said the lawsuit was “without merit” and that the Texas law in question had never been enforced in the past.
A similar lawsuit in Illinois saw the company dish out $650 million over its use of biometric data.