Teenager Sues Apple Claiming Facial Recognition Led to False Arrest
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We have talked about the dangers of facial recognition software before, but now it seems the threat is real.
According to one report, an 18-year-old from New York is suing after being arrested when he was falsely identified by Apple's face recognition system. He has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Apple.
The teen, Ousmane Bah, was arrested by NYPD officers on November 29th after he was falsely linked to a series of Apple Store thefts in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware and Manhattan.
Bah claims that the real perpetrator used a stolen ID that had his name, address and other personal information but since the ID didn't have a photo, the lawsuit claims Apple programmed its stores' face recognition system to associate the real thief's face with his.
After the arrest, a detective examined Apple's surveillance footage and determined that the real Bah didn't look anything like the thief. Bah also had an alibi, since he was attending his senior prom in Manhattan the night the Boston theft occurred.
As New York Post notes, the lawsuit argues 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."
An Apple spokesperson denied the allegations, stating that the company does not use facial recognition in its stores.