Teenager Files $1 Billion Lawsuit After 'Apple Face Recognition Led To False Arrest'

An American teenager has filed a lawsuit against Apple after their face recognition software wrongly linked him to a series of thefts - for a huge one billion dollars.

Ousmane Bah, 18, says he was arrested at his home in New York on 29 November, charged with stealing from their stores in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware and Manhattan.

Bah says the whole thing has affected his education and reputation and caused him stress and hardship. He accuses Apple of negligence, infliction of emotional distress, slander, libel and fraudulent concealment.

Apple's Face ID feature replaced Touch ID. Credit: PA
Apple's Face ID feature replaced Touch ID. Credit: PA

According to Engadget Bah's lawsuit states he had recently lost a non-photo learners permit, which the real thief then got hold of. The ID had his name, address and other personal information included.

But, because it didn't have a photo, the lawsuit says that Apples's face recognition system, Face ID, linked the real criminal's face with Bah's details - he said the company uses this process in its stores to track people suspected of theft.

When the New York Police Department arrested him, even the detective working the case said he looked nothing like the thief, who was caught on CCTV.

After reviewing the footage, charges were dropped against Bah in all states except for New Jersey, where it's still pending. Not only that, but on one of the days he was accused of stealing Apple goods from the Boston store, Bah was actually at his senior prom.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to Bah, he only learned of the mix up when he received a court summons, which understandably must have baffled him.

His lawsuit states: "He was forced to respond to multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship."

Bah's case also says 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 analysed.'

Although it sounds like he might have a case against the giant tech firm, a billion dollars might be pushing it.

LADbible has contacted Apple for comment.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward is a journalist at LADbible. She studied Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, before going on to work in music PR. She has also written for the M.E.N Group and various other publications.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013