Teen sues tech giant Apple for $1billion after facial recognition software leads to false arrest
One 18-year-old from New York City has now filed a lawsuit against tech giant Apple for $1billion over a false arrest that he said took place because of the company's face recognition system. Police officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested Ousmane Bah on November 29 after the young man was falsely connected to a series of thefts in Apple Stores located in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware, and Manhattan. The real thief had apparently used a stolen ID that had his name, address, and other personal information.
Engadget reported that the ID did not have a photo, however, the lawsuit has stated that Apple has programmed the face recognition system in various stores to link the real thief's face with Bah's personal details. When a detective eventually examined the store's surveillance footage after the arrest, he was able to determine that the real Bah did not look anything like the thief caught on camera.
Further adding to the credibility of the lawsuit, Bah had been attending his senior prom in Manhattan when the theft in Boston took place where $1,200 worth of goods were stolen from the store. It's clearly a very strange case and it isn't clear at the moment if this might hold up in court. According to court documents relating to the case, Bah only found out about the major mix-up in identities after he received a court summons from a Boston Municipal court in the mail in June last year.
As The New York Post has noted, however, charges have been dropped against the student in every single state except for New Jersey, where the bizarre case is still pending. The lawsuit against the tech giant states 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".