An American teenager sued Apple stating that the facial security recognition system had linked his face to a series of thefts in Apple Stores.
Ousmane Bah, an 18-year-old university student from NYC, presented the request to Security Industry Inc. on Monday. Bah was still a high school student when he received a summons from a Boston court, claiming he had stolen $ 1,200 of Apple products, particularly Apple Pencils from the Apple Store in Boston.
It appeared that, the real the person behind incident used stolen ID that had his name, address and other personal information.
According to the lawsuit, teenager had never been to Boston and was present on his prom in Manhattan on the day the theft happened. Later on, he was accused of extra thefts from the Apple Store in New Jersey, Delaware and New York.
According to the complaint:
“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.”
He was arrested on November 2018 at 4 am at his home from the NYPD on charges of stealing. According to the filing, the police had a photo of a suspect who did not resemble Bah, but still arrested him.
After watching surveillance footage from the store and seeing that the suspect did not look anything like Bah, a NYPD detective realized that Bah had been unfairly arrested.
The detective then told Bah that the problem could be Apple’s facial recognition. He said Apple’s security technology identifies suspects of theft using facial recognition technology.
“This fact is worrying, particularly in light of the fact that consumers are generally not aware of the use of Apple’s facial recognition technology within its security system. It seems that the system of Apple’s security checks consumer’s faces to look for matches on a suspect list,” says the lawsuit.
In reaction to this issue an Apple representative said that the company does not use facial recognition in its stores.
It is good that human eyes watching surveillance videos eventually cleared Bah after the arrest. It’s a message for people to not to rely on software in the fight against crime.