ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he was suing Facebook (Meta) “for capturing and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so, in violation of Texas law.” .
What is biometric data?
If you have ever logged into your phone with the facial recognition feature or used your fingerprint to log into an account application or if you have ever asked Siri to play your favorite song, then you have authorized the technology to be used. biometrics on your behalf. Biometrics measures your physical characteristics to verify your identity. They include things like your fingerprints and your eyes. They can also use behavioral features, like the unique way to solve a security authentication puzzle. To be useful, biometric data must be unique, permanent and collectable. Once measured, the information is compared and matched in a database.
What types of biometric data are collected?
- Facial Recognition – Measures a person’s unique facial patterns by comparing and analyzing facial contours.
- Iris Recognition – Identifies unique patterns in a person’s iris, which is the colored area of the eye surrounding the pupil.
- Fingerprint Scanner – Captures the unique pattern of peaks and valleys on a finger.
- Speech Recognition – Measures the unique sound waves of your voice when you speak to a device.
- Hand Geometry – Measures and records the length, thickness, width and area of a person’s hand.
- Behavioral Characteristics – Analyzes how you interact with a computerized system.
How can you protect yourself from hackers?
All your personal data collected through various software can be used to hijack your life. While these features make it easier for you to access various software applications, it is important that you never get complacent with your security. Keep in mind that laws are still being developed to protect you against the misuse of this information. In the meantime, here are some tips to protect your identity:
- Do not use birthdates or birthdays as passwords.
- Update or change your passwords frequently.
- Do not use the same password for all your connections.
- Make sure that the software you connect to is always updated and the latest version.
- Disable biometric options if you are not comfortable collecting or using them.
What does the future of biometric collection look like?
Some might say that the benefits of this technology outweigh the pitfalls. States like Texas have already created laws to protect consumers from having their biometric data collected without consent. It is because of these new laws that (according to the Texas Attorney General’s office) Meta (formerly Facebook) stores millions of biometric identifiers (defined by law as “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or facial geometry”) contained in photos and videos uploaded by friends and family members who illegally used the social media app. press release stated that Facebook exploits the personal information of users and non-users to grow its empire and reap windfall and historic profits.The company has repeatedly captured biometric identifiers without consent billions of times, knowingly , in violation of Texas law on the capture or use of biometric identifiers and the Deceptive Marketing Practices Act.
As the technology of the world advances, it is ultimately up to us to use technology for the betterment of our society and to understand that with this convenience comes danger. We must advocate for laws that protect us and ensure that we do everything we can to protect ourselves. The future looks a lot like Ridley Scott’s, Blade Runner’s story and the biometric collection are well on their way to making it that way.