Texas AG Paxton Sues Google over Biometric Data Collection

The Texas Attorney General has sued Google over its collection of biometric data. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, announced that his office sued the mega company over its bio data collection, claiming it violates the privacy of Texans. 

Biometric data is the measurements of human bodies and characteristics. 

The lawsuit alleges that Google 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.

Paxton says that Google has failed to obtain millions of Texans’ informed consent before collecting biometric data, violating the state’s Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act (CUBI).

The Texas CUBI law prohibits the capture of biometric identifiers by people or companies without obtaining consent beforehand as well as the unauthorized sale of biometric data.

Paxton said that Google indiscriminately collects Texans’ personal information, including very sensitive information like biometric identifiers. 

The attorney general is controversial and has been criticized for his conservative approaches to laws dealing with abortion and LGBTQ+ issues. He has served as the Attorney General of Texas since January 2015 and describes himself as a Tea Party conservative. 

The Attorney General said he will continue to fight Big Tech for privacy and security measures. Paxton has sued Google multiple times for alleged privacy infringements. 

Last January, Paxton announced two lawsuits against Google. One lawsuit was for misleading endorsements, and the other was for tracking consumers’ locations without consent.

Paxton said no matter which side of the political aisle people are on, they can see what Big Tech companies are doing and what power they wield over everyday lives. 

Google faces civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation if convicted of violating CUBI. The lawsuit was especially critical of facial recognition technology as “inherently biased against women and racial minorities.”

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