The State of Texas announced last Thursday they will take legal action against tech giant Google, alleging the company harvested biometric data without consumer consent.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office released a memo, providing juicy details about the suit:
“Attorney General Paxton has sued Google, alleging that the tech giant has unlawfully captured and used the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so.
The lawsuit alleges that Google, in yet another violation of Texans’ privacy, has collected millions of biometric identifiers, including voiceprints and records of face geometry, from Texans through its products and services like Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Nest Hub Max. Google’s exploitation of the personal information of Texans for its own commercial interests is a knowing violation of the state’s Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act.”
Paxton justified the legal action, declaring ““Google’s indiscriminate collection of the personal information of Texans, including very sensitive information like biometric identifiers, will not be tolerated. I will continue to fight Big Tech to ensure the privacy and security of all Texans.”
Paxton argues that the tech giant violates The Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act — first enacted in 2009. The act prohibits companies from registering retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, or records of hand or face geometry without the informed consent of the user.
This is not the first time Paxton has sued a company over an alleged breach of this act. In February he sued Meta over similar allegations, declaring “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. 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.”
This is a developing story, and we look forward to seeing more details surrounding the allegations. One thing is sure — privacy needs to be a top priority among Republican lawmakers. We need to trust corporations to respect our informed consent. Our future as a country may depend on it.