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Teen Suing Apple for $1 Billion Over False Arrest Linked to Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is cool technology with a lot of benefits. But it can also majorly mess up, as a New York teen learned in November. 

Credit: Shutterstock

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Bloomberg reports, 18-year-old Ousmane Bah was arrested and charged with stealing from an Apple store -- based on a photo that looked nothing like him.

Bah believes his face was mistakenly connected to the thief's name in the Apple Store's facial-recognition system. He previously lost a driving permit with no photo, which the thief could have obtained and used as ID in the store.

The teen has sued Apple for $1 billion. 

MORE: Here's the One iPhone Setting Everyone Should Change

This isn't the first time facial recognition has led to an arrest. Many governmental agencies, including London's police department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have tested using facial recognition screening to yield arrests.

But this case highlights the potential imperfections of such technology, and the importance of double-checking identities. The ACLU tested a recognition software that Amazon uses and found that it falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshot photos, with errors disproportionately impacting members of color. 

  • hang-the-9
    1 billion is about 1000 times what a false arrest claim could get, it's way over what is prudent even if he ended up spending 20 years in jail over this. He will end up with enough to buy a car probably.
    Reply
  • SteeveGates
    Apple is faulty in the fact that they accepted a driving license as an identification card.
    Let's remember: a driving license is not an identification card, and so, has no legal value to stand as such!!!That written, the young tries to get the Big deal! He won't get it. He'll get at most USD 1000 for the hours during which he could not work, multiplied at most by 2 for moral damage.
    Reply
  • hang-the-9
    SteeveGates said:
    Apple is faulty in the fact that they accepted a driving license as an identification card.
    Let's remember: a driving license is not an identification card, and so, has no legal value to stand as such!!!That written, the young tries to get the Big deal! He won't get it. He'll get at most USD 1000 for the hours during which he could not work, multiplied at most by 2 for moral damage.

    A license is actually valid ID in the US at least. This was not even a license that was lost but a permit which is temporary used for driving. Depending on what it is used for, some places may or may not accept that as ID.
    Reply