Texas accuses Google of collecting people’s facial and voice data without their consent

Texas is suing Google, claiming that the Internet company illegally collects facial and voice-recognition data on millions of the state’s residents without their consent.

Google, which is owned by Alphabet, is violating a state consumer protection law that requires people to be notified and give their consent before their biometric information can be collected, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday. Announcing the lawsuit, he said.

According to a complaint filed in district court in Midland County, Google has stored voice prints and facial records through products including Google Assistant and Google Photos, the latter of which is used to analyze facial features and group images. has gone.

“Google has now spent years capturing the faces and voices of both non-consensual users and non-users across Texas – including our kids and grandparents, who simply have no idea that a profit by a global corporation their biometric information is being mined,” the suit states.

Google dismissed the allegations and vowed to defend itself in court, telling CBS Moneywatch in an email that Paxton is “misrepresenting our products in another breathless lawsuit.”

3 states and DC sued Google over “misleading” location tracking practices


“Google Photos helps you organize photos of people by grouping similar faces, so you can easily find old photos. Of course, it’s only visible to you, you can easily turn this feature off if you want to.” and we do not use photos or videos in Google Photos for advertising purposes,” an Alphabet spokesperson said. “The same is true for Voice Match and Face Match on the Nest Hub Max, which are off-by-default features that give users the option of having Google Assistant recognize their voice or face to show their information.”

Texas is one of a small number of US states to pass biometric privacy laws that prohibit the capture of personal identifiers for commercial use without an individual’s consent.

Google earlier this month agreed to pay $85 million to the state of Arizona to settle a 2020 lawsuit that alleged users tried to turn off the geo-tracking setting on their smartphones. Even after he had misled the users by recording their locations. Arizona said the company used location information to sell billions of dollars in advertising. Google denied any wrongdoing.

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