Apple has been sued by an 18-year-old teenager from New York for $1 billion. The lawsuit against Apple is over a false arrest because of what’s believed to be Apple’s face recognition system. As reported by Engadget on Tuesday, the complainant Ousmane Bah was arrested by NYPD officers on November 29 after he was falsely linked to a series of Apple Store thefts in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware, and Manhattan.
It turned out that Bah wasn’t behind the Apple Store thefts, and it all happened because his ID was stolen. It’s been reported that Bah’s stolen ID was used by the thief and he used Bah’s name, address and other personal information. However, as per the lawsuit details, since the stolen ID didn’t have a photo, Apple programmed its stores’ face recognition (Face ID) system to associate the real thief’s face with Bah’s details.
The lawsuit explains that Apple’s “use of facial recognition software in its stores to track individuals suspected of theft is the type of Orwellian surveillance that consumers fear, particularly as it can be assumed that the majority of consumers are not aware that their faces are secretly being analyzed,” notes New York Post (via Engadget). The case is Bah v. Apple Inc., 19-cv-03539, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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Later, a detective examined Apple’s surveillance footage and found out that the real Bah didn’t look anything like the thief. Also, Bah was attending his senior prom in Manhattan when the Boston theft worth $1,200 took place. But unfortunately for Bah, his innocence was determined after the arrest.
Apple has also clarified its stand on the issue. An Apple spokesperson told Engadget that the company does not use facial recognition in its stores.