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HomeNewsZuckerberg to Face Deposition in Texas Over Meta Facial Scanning

Zuckerberg to Face Deposition in Texas Over Meta Facial Scanning

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Mark Zuckerberg delivering a keynote speech
Source: Anthony Quintano/Flickr

After extensive efforts by counsel representing Meta Platforms Inc. in an ongoing Texas lawsuit, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will have to appear before the judge for a deposition.

The lawsuit in question started in 2022 and alleges that Facebook profited from its facial recognition technology. The lawsuit affirms that the social media giant exploited the technology while disregarding users’ privacy and without seeking their consent. 

Of course, at the onset of adopting facial recognition technology, Facebook users were fascinated by what it could help them do. However, citing the safety and breach of privacy issues that come with using the technology, the state of Texas decided to file a lawsuit about its commercial use. 

So, in 2022, Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas initiated a lawsuit against the parent company of Facebook, Meta. According to the lawsuit, Facebook was accused of collecting the biometric data of Texans and exploiting the same for commercial profit. 

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The particular bone of contention of the lawsuit is not the adoption of facial recognition technology. Instead, the absence of any obvious caveat informs the users about the potential and implications of using the said Facebook feature. Likewise, the lawsuit calls out Facebook for being dishonest for not indicating that it makes some financial profit from the biometric data of users. 

In a build-up to the 2022 lawsuit, Ken Paxton said, “Facebook will no longer take advantage of people and their children with the intent to turn a profit at the expense of one’s safety and well-being.” 

Attorney Paxton is famous for taking on Big Tech companies. However, his case seems to be of merit this time. Paxton points out that according to Texas law, companies must obtain informed consent from users of their technology before using the biometric information of such parties. 

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However, Meta Platforms Inc. pushed back against the allegations by stating that Facebook has decommissioned its face recognition technology since November 2021. According to the Tech giant, they are in the process of deleting all biometric information of their users, both photos and videos. 

Nonetheless, people speculate that Meta received a tip-off about the ongoing legal storm and took necessary actions for the controversial technology. Removing that feature from Facebook was not a product of sheer benevolence. 

ALSO READ: Former DEI Executive at Facebook Pleads Guilty In a $4 Million Fraud Lawsuit 

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The legal battle is still raging, and the counsels representing Texas have officially filed for a deposition of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Initially, Meta’s counsels tried to obtain a stay of action that would make it unnecessary for the CEO to appear in court. However, the Court of Appeals in the Sixth Appellate District of Texas has declined the request. 

The Courts of Appeals judges agree that the information to be obtained by deposition cannot be gotten through less intrusive sources. The state requests Zuckerberg’s deposition because it believes “he has knowledge of discoverable information relevant to its claims.” 

This lawsuit aims to get the state of Texas to fine Meta for its infractions. We are looking at about $25,000 for each instance of consent rule violation. Also $10,000 for each instance of violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Now imagine what the settlement would amount to for the entire state of Texas! 

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