Google bashes Texas biometric law while another state proposes its own
Nothing is getting easier on the legal front for companies in the United States collecting the biometric identifiers. A lawsuit by the state of Texas against Google has devolved into an ugly critique of privacy laws and other states are working on their own biometric privacy act.
If the 2009 Texas law, called the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifiers Act, truly is the inconsistent word salad as depicted by Google, it will generate more arguments having little to do with the law and wasting time and money for all involved.
That would be the case at least until a new law could be written, which would be an expensive, time-consuming process. And that law probably would not match any other two states’ biometrics laws.
This is happening as lawmakers in other states, including Mississippi this month proposed the Biometric Identifiers Privacy Act, or House Bill 467. This and other efforts follow the state of Illinois’ landmark BIPA.
The Google lawsuit is being waged since October under Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who pokes the shins of Big Tech to raise his visibility. It alleges that Google has broken the 2009 law. It is alleged that Google did not get advance consent for its Photos app and Assistant and Nest hardware-software products to collect Texans’ biometrics.
Residents have no right to action – the freedom to sue on their own until the biometric law, which differs from Illinois’, which lets anyone seek relief.
Google this week filed a response to the state’s lawsuit, and apparently held little of its temper back.
The state has not played “fair” in a case of “misplaced assumptions” related to the prosecution of alleged wrongdoing involving “a little-used statute.” The case is “meandering and internally inconsistent.” It also shoots itself in the foot, according to Google’s filing, making one claim only to undercut the same claim elsewhere.
It is possible that Mississippi lawmakers are watching the Texas case. It would be the closest thing to legislative conformity.