The southern US state of Texas is suing Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc over facial recognition data it claims was gathered without consent.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Meta for allegedly using unauthorized biometric data collected from millions of Texans.
In a statement, the Texas attorney general's office said that Facebook captured and used the biometric data without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so, in violation of Texas law.
Paxton alleged that the social media giant has been storing millions of biometric identifiers, defined by statute as "a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry," contained in photos and videos uploaded by users of the app.
By this illegal activity, Facebook exploited the personal information of users and non-users alike to grow its empire and reap historic windfall profits, he said.
According to the AG, the company repeatedly captured biometric identifiers without consent billions of times, in knowing violation of Texas' Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The suit noted that unlike other identifiers, such as social security numbers, which can be changed when stolen or misappropriated, biometric identifiers are permanent.
Once a biometric identifier is captured, a bad actor can access and exploit the identifier for the rest of the victim's life.