Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to be deposed in Texas facial recognition case


Facebook co-founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sits in his seat inside a bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum for all U.S. senators hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 2023.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg must take part in a deposition as part of an ongoing lawsuit in Texas involving the company’s facial recognition technology.

Justice Jeff Rambin of Texas’s Sixth Court of Appeals said in a Tuesday ruling that the state court has denied Meta’s recent petition “seeking relief from an order compelling the oral deposition” of Zuckerberg at an unspecified date.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in February 2022, saying at the time that Meta has been “capturing and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so.” Attorneys representing Texas also said Meta violated the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act by “failing to disclose information — including the fact that it collects biometric identifiers — with the intent to induce Facebook users in Texas into using Facebook, which such users would not have done had the information been disclosed.”

In Tuesday’s ruling, the state of Texas claimed that Zuckerberg has “had unique personal knowledge of discoverable information” that’s relevant to its lawsuit, alleging that Meta violated state laws related to the collection of biometric data and deceptive trade practices.

Meta settled a facial recognition-related class action lawsuit in 2021 for $650 million. Attorneys said in a filing at the time that it was one of the “largest settlements ever for a privacy violation, and it will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated.”

Meta didn’t respond for a request for comment.

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