The Strategist

Texas Attorney General sues Meta over facial recognition technology

02/15/2022 - 08:20

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in Marshall County Circuit Court against Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook).

He accused the company of violating the state's personal biometric data protection law when using facial recognition technology. The suit involves hundreds of billions of dollars in fines, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a knowledgeable interlocutor.  

In the lawsuit, Attorney General Paxton pointed out that the processing of Texans' facial data from photos that Facebook users uploaded to the social network from 2010 through the end of 2021 resulted in "tens of millions of violations" of Texas law. 

The attorney general enlisted two third-party firms, Keller Lenkner and McKool Smith, to assist in the case and chose Marshall Court, the most common venue for technology litigation, as the venue for the lawsuit. 

The Texas attorney general's statement notes that state authorities are seeking to collect civil fines for past violations of the law and will try to stop future data use. They speculate that Meta may still retain some of the facial recognition data it has collected.