Apple claims it isn’t scanning customers’ faces, after teen sues for $1 billion

Apple is being accused of using facial recognition software at its Apple stores to arrest the wrong person for theft: a New York student who is now suing Apple for $ 1 billion. And while Apple tells The Verge that it does not use face recognition technology in its stores, the case is rather strange, and there is enough room for maneuver, which is not clear if that is the whole truth.

Ousmane Bah, 18, claims in a lawsuit that he was wrongly identified as a thief in several Apple Store thefts in several states, but denies that he is the person in the photo that accompanied the arrest warrant. Backed by surveillance images and a detective's testimony, district attorneys in New York and Boston have already dropped the charges against Bah, according to the lawsuit. (According to the document, he is still charged with theft in New Jersey in a pending case).

. According to the lawsuit, New York Police Detective John Reinhold noticed for the first time that Bah" did not it looked nothing like "the suspect in the surveillance video of a Manhattan Apple Store that was stolen. According to the lawsuit, the detective then explained that Apple's security technology identifies theft suspects using facial recognition technology.

When we contacted Reinhold by phone, he said that Apple does not technically have facial recognition in its stores. but also that his statements as described in the complaint were correct. He refused to answer more questions, but it is worth noting that the second defendant in the lawsuit, the Security Industry Specialists, could explain the contradiction: it could have been that company that used the facial recognition to analyze the security images after the fact, and possibly outside of it. The facilities of Apple.

SIS Security does not explicitly mention Apple as a customer on its public website, but the third-party signature seems to have a long working relationship with Apple, and a 2016 employee manual hosted on its website specifies Apple as a client.

The lawsuit states that Bah was presented with a police report stating that a SIS loss prevention employee caught him stealing Apple Pencils in a security video from a Boston Apple store. Reportedly, Apple initially claimed that it had no surveillance video, but that it eventually produced the images, according to the lawsuit.

Bah states that he could not have attempted the Boston theft because he had attended his graduation party in Manhattan. at that time, but speculates that the real thief could have stolen his information from an apprentice permit he had previously lost, one that did not have a photo.

The lawsuit seeks to justify the $ 1 billion claim alleging that Apple and SIS caused damages to Bah for his illegal actions, which included having the NYPD arrest him at his home at four in the morning, forcing him to to miss school and a partial exam, which then hurt their grades. The lawsuit alleges that Apple was negligent, inflicted emotional distress intentionally and slandered and slandered Bah, among other charges.

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