The attorney generalís office in the southern US state claims that Facebook violated usersí privacy rights
A lawsuit was filed against Facebook, which changed its company name to Meta last year, on Monday by the Texas attorney generalís office, alleging the social media corporation violated state privacy rights with facial recognition technology.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in a state district court in Marshall, seeking hundreds of billions in civic damages, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a statement on the suit, Paxton accused the social media giant of "harvesting Texansí most personal information" through facial recognition software it used from 2010 through last year for "corporate profit." The software would scan and store facial recognition data from usersí photographs.
Texas law has prohibited such harvesting without informed consent for over 20 years. While ordinary Texans have been using Facebook to innocently share photos of loved ones with friends and family, we now know that Facebook has been brazenly ignoring Texas law for the last decade," Paxton said.
Facebookís facial recognition software has drawn legal challenges in the past, with the social media platform settling a 2015 lawsuit in Illinois for a reported $650 million. The lawsuit was similar to Texasí complaint, as it argued Facebookís software violated the stateís biometric privacy law, which prohibits peopleís biometric data from being stored without consent. The software was discontinued last November.
In a blog post by Jerome Pesenti, the companyís vice president of artificial intelligence, it was suggested that there are not yet "clear rules" on how such software can be applied.
"We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules," Pesenti wrote.