'Deceitful business': Texas sues Meta's Facebook over facial recognition system

WION Web Team
Texas Updated: Feb 15, 2022, 08:46 AM(IST)

What happens in this case may pave way for similar action against Facebook in Europe Photograph:( Reuters )

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Facebook had declared last year that it would be shutting down its facial recognition system

The state of Texas on Monday sued Facebook's parent company Meta over privacy protection issues stating that its facial recognition system collected biometric data of citizens without their consent.

The Texas lawsuit alleged that Facebook captured biometric information from photos and videos without the users' consent as Attorney General Ken Paxton said it was an example of "big tech’s deceitful business practices".

However, Meta spokesperson said the "claims are without merit" while vowing to "defend itself vigorously". 

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Mark Zuckerberg's company had declared last year that it would be shutting down its facial recognition system and would delete people's information. Two years ago it had agreed to pay $650 million in a similar privacy case. It was said to be the largest ever settlement of a privacy lawsuit at the time.

The Illinois lawsuit was filed in 2015 over Facebook's photo-tagging feature as it used the facial recognition system as attorney Edelson asserted that "biometrics along with geolocation were the two primary battlegrounds".

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In a similar move, the Texas lawsuit said Facebook had captured biometric identifiers of Texans "without consent not hundreds, or thousands, or millions of times but billions of times."

“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.

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Facebook has been under fire over various issues. Last year whistleblower Frances Haugen had alleged that adults perceive Facebook content as "boring, misleading, and negative" after she leaked documents highlighting the social network's effect on teens and users' well-being. Facebook however dismissed Haugen's charges.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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