The responsibilities, of the Office of the Attorney General, are to serve as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issue legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies, and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.
The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.
Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues. The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls, and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud, and other topics.
To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/.
AG Paxton Announces $17.5 Million Settlement with Home Depot Regarding Data Breach
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his office, along with the Attorneys General of 45 other States and the District of Columbia have obtained a $17.5 million-dollar settlement against retailer The Home Depot, resolving a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach which exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide.
Texas led this settlement alongside Connecticut and Illinois and will collect $1,777,440.00.
The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware on the retailer’s self-checkout point-of-sale system.
The malware allowed the hackers to obtain the payment card information of customers who used self-checkout lanes at Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. between April 10, 2014, and Sept 13, 2014.
“The Home Depot has agreed to implement and maintain a series of data security practices designed to strengthen information security programs and safeguard consumers’ personal information,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This settlement serves to promote fair but rigorous compliance with state laws which require businesses that collect sensitive personal information to implement procedures to protect consumers’ information from unlawful use or disclosure.”
In this settlement, Home Depot agreed to develop and maintain a comprehensive information security program, including providing resources for the program’s implementation and required training; employing a duly qualified Chief Information Security Officer to oversee the program, and advise Home Depot’s Board of Directors of the company’s security risks, and undertaking a post-settlement information security assessment.
Read a copy of the settlement here.
AG Paxton Announces $113 Million Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of over 30 other attorneys general in a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle customers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones.
After a multistate investigation, during which Texas served on an executive committee with Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, the attorneys general allege that Apple discovered battery issues led to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones.
Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple concealed the issues and reduced iPhone performance.
Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle caused Apple to profit from selling additional phones to customers whose phone performance had decreased.
“I am pleased to announce that Apple is being held accountable for their deceitfulness with consumers and secretive decision not to inform consumers of known issues,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This settlement is a victory for honest business and customers and a stern warning to any companies who attempt to cover their mistakes at the expense of consumer choice.”
Texas will receive just over $7.5 million in monetary payment. In addition to the monetary payment, Apple must also provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management on their website, update installation notes, and in the iPhone user interface itself.
Assistant Attorneys General Beth Chun, Paul Singer, and Rick Berlin represented the State of Texas.
Apple also recently entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation regarding the same conduct and upon finalization will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution.
Read a copy of the settlement here.
AG Paxton’s Child Support Division Sets New Record by Collecting $4.8 Billion for Texas Children
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division set a new record by collecting more than $4.8 billion in child support for the state fiscal year 2020.
The Child Support Division serves over 1.6 million children and surpassed the previous year’s record by ten percent. Texas currently leads the nation in total child support collections – more than 27 other states and territories combined.
“I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of our Child Support Division to improve the lives of Texas children and ensure that families receive the support they need and deserve,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This success is particularly remarkable in light of the challenges the division faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of physical offices. The Division’s performance improves each year and, as such, continues to benefit children across the state.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Child Support Division successfully transitioned to a virtual service delivery model.
Since mid-March, the Division has leveraged technology to build efficient new administrative and legal processes that kept child support cases moving forward and created live chat capabilities that have become a preferred method of contact for many of the families the division serves.
Serving one in four Texas children, the Child Support Division handles over 1.5 million cases annually and collects $11.68 for children for every $1 spent to operate the program.
While physical offices currently remain closed to the public except for limited services by appointment, services may also be obtained via email, phone, videoconference, and the program’s new chat function.
For more information about the attorney general’s office and the child support services it offers, visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/child-support.
Notification of Opinion
Official Request Summary RQ-0355-KP
Authority of the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board to exempt licensed or certified appraisers from the statutory requirement to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when performing a property “evaluation” allowed under the federal Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines
Official Opinion Summary KP-0342
A rule exempting an appraiser licensed under Occupations Code chapter 1103 from complying with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when performing an evaluation as allowed under the federal Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines would conflict with section 1103.405.