Texas attorney general sues Google alleging its captured biometric data without permission

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Texas filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the tech giant captured and used residents’ biometric data without their permission.

In the lawsuit, the state alleges Google collected biometric identifiers such as voiceprints and records of face geometry through products and services like Google Photos, Google Assistant and Nest Hub Max.

“Google’s indiscriminate collection of the personal information of Texans, including very sensitive information like biometric identifiers, will not be tolerated,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement.

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, Google spokesperson José Castañeda said Google will set the record straight in court.

“AG Paxton is once again mischaracterizing our products in another breathless lawsuit,” said Castañeda.

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A Google sign on the is shown on the company campus in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2019.

A Google sign on the is shown on the company campus in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2019.

Google Photos offers a feature where users can organize pictures of people by grouping similar faces, but Castañeda notes it’s only available to the individual user and can be turned off at any time. The Nest Hub Max, a combination smart speaker and display, offers an optional feature allowing the device to recognize users through their face and voice.

The battle between Texas and Google is the latest in a series of lawsuits filed by states against big tech companies over online privacy.

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Earlier this month, Arizona announced an $85 million settlement with Google of a lawsuit claiming the company tracked users’ locations with “deceptive and unfair” practices to sell advertisements.

In June, Google settled a lawsuit in Illinois following allegations it violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act regarding use of a face regrouping tool in Google Photos.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas sues Google, alleging it captured unauthorized biometric data

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