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Texas sues Google over its use of facial images

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging the tech giant has unlawfully collected facial biometrics without the consent of users for years.

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

“Google’s indiscriminate collection of the personal information of Texans, including very sensitive information like biometric identifiers, will not be tolerated,” Paxton said. “I will continue to fight Big Tech to ensure the privacy and security of all Texans.”

The complaint alleges that Google uses features in Google Assistant, Photos, and Nest smart-home products to collect and store voice- and facial-recognition data without the consent of users.

Google then uses the data for commercial purposes, like improving its AI algorithms.

Under the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act in the Texas constitution, it is illegal to collect and share biometric data without consent.

“Google has now spent years unlawfully capturing the faces and voices of both non-consenting users and non-users throughout Texas—including our children and grandparents, who simply have no idea that their biometric information is being mined for profit by a global corporation,” the complaint states.

Google paid a $100 million settlement in Illinois in a lawsuit that alleged the company face-grouping tool violated privacy laws. The company is also being sued by Texas and other states for its anti-competitive practices in advertising.

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