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HomeTechnologyTexas sues Google, accusing it of taking people's biometric data without consent

Texas sues Google, accusing it of taking people's biometric data without consent

TL;DR: Texas has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing it of illegally collecting biometrics from millions of people in the state using Google Photos, Google, and more Data Assistant and Nest Hub Max.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the lawsuit alleging that Google violated the Texas Biometrics Act of 2009, which Companies are required to obtain prior informed consent, voice and records of people’s “facial geometry” before collecting biometric data, including fingerprints.

The complaint alleges that Google has been violating the law since 2015, when it introduced the Google Photos face grouping feature, which recognizes facial features to identify faces in photos, and Group any pictures or videos that contain that person (or pet). The lawsuit alleges that Google has been collecting biometric data from “countless” Texans to serve the company’s business purposes. “In fact, statewide, everyday Texans have become unwitting cash cows that are being squeezed for profit by Google.”

“Many Texans don’t know or understand that Google does this for Google by recording and analyzing sensitive biometric information Photos are backed up. But what’s more striking is the fact that through the face grouping process, Google captured and stored sensitive biometric data about Texas users and non-users — data that Google stored unreasonably time,” the lawsuit said.

“To make matters even worse, when a mother uploads a video of her birthday party, Google does facial recognition for every face detected in that video, including parks, The faces of uninvolved bystanders in restaurants or on campus.”

Another example of Google’s alleged illegal collection of biometrics is the Nest Hub Max feature, Face Match. It uses facial recognition technology to identify who is using the device and display content based on a particular person’s preferences. According to the lawsuit, “The Nest Hub Max’s camera is designed to be a modern-day Eye of Sauron—constantly watching and waiting to recognize faces it recognizes.” As with face grouping, the faces of anyone (including children) allegedly come into view The geometric shapes were all captured without their consent.

Voice aspects related to using Google Assistant on any device. The devices listen to and analyze every voice they hear, whether or not the speaker agrees with Google’s voice print, the lawsuit says.

Google responded to the lawsuit in an email to PCMag. “AG Paxton has again mischaracterized our product in another stifling lawsuit. For example, Google Photos helps you organize photos of people by grouping similar faces so you can easily find old Photos. Of course, this is only visible to you and yourself. This feature can easily be turned off if you choose and we don’t use photos or videos from Google Photos for advertising purposes,” a company spokesperson said.

” The same is true for Voice Match and Face Match on the Nest Hub Max, which are turned off by default and users can choose to have Google Assistant recognize their voice or face to reveal their information. We will record it directly in court,” they added.

This is not the first time Google has faced a face related to claims it illegally collected biometric data ‘s lawsuit. Earlier this year, the company reached a $100 million settlement with the state of Illinois over Google Photos’ face-grouping feature.

Paxton is certainly not a fan of big tech. In addition to previous antitrust lawsuits against Google, he has gone after T-Mobile, Twitter and Facebook in the past.

Google Photos Image: BigTunaOnline



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