Apple has been sued by a teen who claims that the company’s facial recognition led to his false arrest. The claim is that Apple used facial recognition software in its retail stores to arrest the wrong person for the theft. Apple has responded to the matter, saying that it doesn’t use facial recognition software in its stores.
Osumane Bah claimed in his lawsuit that he was identified as the robber incorrectly in multiple robberies at Apple Store locations. He denies that he’s the person in the photo which is part of the warrant for his arrest, he claimed that the actual thief had used a fake ID with his information on it. His claims have found weight in New York and Boston where surveillance footage and the testimony of a detective have already led to charges against him being dropped.
NYPD detective John Reinhold viewed the security footage and noticed that Bah didn’t look like the suspect involved in the incident. The lawsuit then mentions that the detective had explained that Apple’s security technology automatically identifies suspects through facial recognition. Reinhold told The Verge that Apple doesn’t technically use facial recognition in its stores but reiterated that his statements in the lawsuit are also correct. Security Industry Specialists is a company that’s the second defendant on the lawsuit. The report mentions that this may have been the company that used facial recognition to analyze the security footage after the robbery and likely outside of Apple’s facilities.
Bah was presented with a police report, according to the lawsuit, which mentioned that a SIS loss prevention employee had caught him stealing Apple Pencils on video footage from an Apple Store in Boston. Apple had first claimed that it didn’t have surveillance video but later produced the footage. Bah counters that by saying that at the time of the Boston theft he was attending his senior prom in Manhattan so he wasn’t there. There’s speculation that the real thief may have stolen his information from a learner’s permit that he had lost, that ID didn’t have a photo. Clearly, this is going to play out for a while.
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