Texas sues Google over deceptive data collection.
The attorney general’s office said in a statement on Thursday that Texas has sued Alphabet’s Google for allegedly gathering biometric data of millions of Texans without getting their consent.
According to the complaint, Texas-based businesses have been forbidden for more than ten years from collecting people’s faces, voices, or other biometric data without advanced, informed consent.
“In blatant defiance of that law, Google has, since at least 2015, collected biometric data from innumerable Texans and used their faces and their voices to serve Google’s commercial ends,” the complaint said. “Indeed, all across the state, everyday Texans have become unwitting cash cows being milked by Google for profits.”
The statement added that the data was collected through Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Nest Hub Max products.
The company said it will contest the lawsuit and pointed out that customers of the services had the option to disable the biometric data collection.
“AG Paxton is once again mischaracterizing our products in another breathless lawsuit,” said Google spokesman Jose Castaneda. “We will set the record straight in court.”
The lawsuit is one of many brought by states against Google for alleged unfair privacy practices. Arizona reached an $85 million settlement on one in early October.
In January, the states of Texas, Indiana, Washington, and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Google for what they deemed to be deceptive location-tracking methods that violated consumers’ privacy.
“Indiscriminate collection” of such data “will not be tolerated,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.