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Texas AG Investigates Facebook’s Use of Biometric Identifiers

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating Facebook Inc. (“Facebook”) for alleged violations of the Texas Business and Commercial Code, which contains provisions governing the collection, retention and disclosure of biometric data. As we previously reported, Facebook recently reached a $650 million settlement for alleged violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act for their use of facial recognition software without permission from affected users.

Texas law defines a “biometric identifier” as “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.” While the exact violations alleged are not clear, Paxton has sought discovery material from the Illinois case, suggesting the investigation relates to the use of facial recognition in Facebook’s photo tagging function. Texas law allows the Texas Attorney General to bring suit on behalf of injured parties, and allows for damages totaling up to $25,000 per violation.

Copyright © 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 211

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About this Author

In today’s digital economy, companies face unprecedented challenges in managing privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about their customers and employees. The complex framework of global legal requirements impacting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information makes it imperative that modern businesses have a sophisticated understanding of the issues if they want to effectively compete in today’s economy.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice helps companies manage data and...

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