Texas Sues Meta Over Alleged Unauthorized Biometric Data Collection

Financial Daily Dose 2.15.2022

February 15, 2022

Texas AG Ken Paxton has sued Facebook parent Meta accusing it of violating “a state consumer protection law by repeatedly capturing and commercializing biometric data in photos and videos for more than a decade without the informed consent of users.” A year ago, Facebook settled a similarly alleged class-action lawsuit in Illinois for $650 million based on the state’s powerful BIPA statute - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

Not sure I would’ve put “European land war” as a top market destabilizing event a few months ago, but these are strange times, so we’re rolling with it all now. Monday’s news that a Russian invasion of Ukraine may happen as early as tomorrow left markets wobbly all day, with all three major indices closing down to start the week – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

The looming conflict’s possible impact on “already high oil and natural gas prices” and corresponding effect on “elevated inflation around the world” are a prime reason markets around the world are paying such close attention to the dispute - NYTimes and WSJ

Crypto firm BlockFi has agreed to resolve SEC threats of legal action over registration failures for a record $100 million. The news comes as SEC Chair Gary Gensler has promised aggressive action against crypto firms “offering loan products that failed to register them as securities or to register themselves as investment companies” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360 and TechCrunch

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has declared a national emergency that “confers enormous temporary powers on the federal government, allowing it to do what is necessary to restore public order”—all in an effort to end the anti-pandemic-restriction protests “that have paralyzed the center of the Canadian capital for more than two weeks” and “impeded border crossings . . . vital to the supply chains of the global automobile industry” - NYTimes and WSJ

Federal regulators, including the SEC and DOJ, have reportedly opened investigations into block trading on Wall Street—“examining whether bankers may have improperly tipped hedge-fund clients in advance of large share sales.” The probe is looking at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as well as a handful of hedge funds at the moment, though no charges are guaranteed as a result of the investigation - WSJ

Fed officials are making the rounds this week in an effort to temper concerns about a half % point or more rate hike next month after January’s inflation numbers came back higher than expected. That buzz pushed markets down last week, and central bankers are responding with a concerted effort to stress the Fed’s anticipated “measured response” to rising prices - NYTimes

Semiconductor giant Intel is nearing the final stages of a $6 billion deal to acquire Israeli chip company Tower Semiconductor Ltd, the latest in a series of recent moves “to bolster a plan to make more chips for other companies” - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Oh yeah, baby. It’s US/Canada for the gold. Again - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get boosted,



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.