Google sued by Texas over allegations of illegal data gathering

11/01/2022 3:52 PM | Technical Framework (Administrator)
Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, has filed a lawsuit against Google for allegedly gathering and utilizing millions of Texans' biometric data without their permission.
Since 2015, according to the Texas Attorney General, Google has reportedly collected many biometric identifiers, including voiceprints and facial geometry data, using products and services such as Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Nest Hub Max.
This is a breach of the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act, which states that businesses are not allowed to capture a biometric identifier (such as a retinal or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry) of an individual for a commercial purpose without the individual's knowledge and consent.
Paxton has filed several lawsuits against Google for allegedly breaching the privacy of Texans who make use of the company's products and services.
In January 2022, for example, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Google for breaching the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.
After less than a week, Paxton filed a second lawsuit against Google. The corporation deceived Texan customers by continuing to monitor their location even after they believed this option had been deactivated.
Paxton stated that Google's indiscriminate gathering of Texans' personal information, especially highly sensitive information such as biometric identifiers, would not be permitted. And that he would not stop fighting Big Tech to protect the Texans' right to privacy and safety.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) penalized Google $60 million in August for deceiving Australian Android users about the collection and use of their location data for over two years, from January 2017 to December 2018.
In January, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) in France handed Google a fine of $170 million for violating the freedom of consent of internet users. The commission found that Google violated this freedom by making it hard for users to dismiss tracking cookies by hiding the option behind several clicks. This was considered an infringement of the users' right to privacy online.
In the past, Google has been subjected to the following fines: $2.72 billion for exploiting its dominating market position to manipulate search result rankings; $1.7 billion for engaging in anti-competitive practices within the online advertising industry; €220 million for favoring its services to the detriment of competitors; and $11.3 million for aggressive data collection.
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