From Texas Public Radio:
Legal action taken against Facebook for allowing the company Cambridge Analytica to improperly harvest data from 50 million of its users may have many Texans wondering if there are any state statutes protecting their digital privacy.
Ahead of the 2016 presidential primary and election, Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica access to its database to look for advertising opportunities for the presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and later Donald Trump.
Nuala O’Conner, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, says most often users weren’t aware data from their profiles was being collected when they clicked on Facebook apps like “What would be your Lucky Leprechaun name?”
“The background data is being transferred to other parties, other companies, and in this case it was Cambridge Analytica to do psychographic profiling to try to predict how you’re going to vote or who you’re going to vote for,” O’Conner says.
Cambridge Analytica then used that information to target Facebook users with political messages and advertising to influence their voting behavior during the 2016 election.
Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Facebook concerning Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting efforts.
But there are already state laws that address some aspects of digital privacy, like a ban passed by lawmakers that prevents financial institutions from implementing facial and voice recognition software without customers consent.