A NY student sued Apple Inc. for $1 billion, claiming the company's facial-recognition software falsely linked him to a series of thefts from Apple stores. As is protocol, Apple recorded the details of the perpetrator via their ID, taking the name, address and other personal information of a Mr. Ousmane Bah.
Ousmane Bah was arrested by NYPD officers on November 29 after being blamed for thefts at Apple Stores in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware and Manhattan, according to his lawsuit.
A student is suing Apple Inc for $1bn (£0.77bn), claiming that its in-store AI led to his mistaken arrest.
Mr Bah said one of the charges was for the theft of Apple pencils from a store in Boston - a city he had never visited. Apple's in-store facial recognition system ended up using this data to link Bah's identity to that of the thief. The company employs in-store facial recognition inside its retail stores to help track down thieves and suspected culprits in such cases.
A detective with the New York Police Department allegedly told Mr Bah that the thief probably used Mr Bah's driving licence as identification during one of the robberies. Additionally, a detective who examined the stores' surveillance footage concluded that Bah "looked nothing like" the thief.
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KitGuru Says: It's a unusual case, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Apple using its facial recognition technology to attempt to protect its stores.
The use of facial recognition software in Apple stores "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", the suit says. Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Bah said he was forced to respond to multiple false allegations, which led to "severe stress and hardship" and left him "feeling humiliated, afraid, and deeply concerned".
Charges against Bah have been dropped in every state except New Jersey, where the case is still pending.