New York Student Sues Apple for False Arrest After Being Mistakenly Identified as Store Thief [Updated]

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Ousmane Bah, an 18-year-old from New York, is suing Apple for $1 billion for false arrest, reports Bloomberg.

    According to Bah, Apple's in-store facial recognition software mistakenly linked him to a series of thefts from Apple Stores, leading to his arrest back in November.


    In a lawsuit filed today, Bah said that the arrest warrant included a photo that did not resemble him, and that during one of the thefts he was charged with in Boston, he was attending a senior prom in Manhattan.

    Bah says that he at one time had a learner's permit without a photograph stolen, which could have been found or stolen by the real thief and used as identification in Apple Stores, leading to his name being mistakenly linked to the thief's face in Apple's facial recognition systems.

    Bah says that he was forced to respond to "multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship." Apple has declined to comment on the case, which also involves Security Industry Specialists Incoming.

    Update: Apple told The Verge that it does not use facial recognition in its stores, though that does not appear to be the entire story. The NYPD detective in the case said that Apple uses security technology to identify suspects of theft using facial recognition.

    There is a security company also involved in the lawsuit (Security Industry Specialists), so it's possible that security footage captured in Apple retail stores is analyzed after the fact by this company.

    Article Link: New York Student Sues Apple for False Arrest After Being Mistakenly Identified as Store Thief [Updated]
  2. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
  3. thebroz macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
  4. lbhskier37 macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2011
  5. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Legally Apple can’t ‘arrest him’, they can apprehend him if their policy allows it, but the article also indicates that the ‘arrest warrant included a photo that did not resemble him’.
  6. Coffee50 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2015
    Haha! I'm sure even his lawyers & legal team know that's not going to happen. But by suing for such a ridiculously high & far fetched high amount, they open the "potential" settlement to be anything underneath that.v
  7. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    At the very least he should be sheltered and fed for life just like the heroes of ww2 were if they came back at all.
  8. omihek macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2014
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I mean, if you're suing Apple, might as well go for it all, right?
  9. Modernboy macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is in no way an entitled person trying to grab a but of Apple's cash at all.
  10. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    hm, "Apple facial recognition systems" in their retail stores....
  11. tothemoonsands macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2018
    While $1 Billion is clearly excessive, I do hope that he receives fair compensation for his hardship. In addition, Apple should be more forthcoming about its use of facial recognition in its stores.

    It is a complete surprise to me that Apple is actively identifying all guests who walk into the store. As a company that is touting privacy in its recent marketing campaigns, Apple owes all of us, Mr. Bah included, a thorough explanation.
  12. techfreak23 macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2013
    Okay he’s not wrong for suing, but $1 billion? That’s a bit of a stretch...
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'd agree, but we don't know if it's true. The article says that Apple uses in-store facial recognition software according to Bah. Since Apple declined to comment, we're left to wonder if the real outcome of Mr. Bah's case will be an outcry over an Apple invasion of privacy, or if it's not really the case.
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    That’s the world we live in, in today’s age of when someone feels they’re ‘entitled’ to money due to legalities where they have been ‘subjected to severe stress and hardships’ as the article indicates , they will reach for the highest number possible, even if they’re not rewarded that, in the end, it’s all about the money versus the real reason why they are suing.
  15. Defthand macrumors 65816

    Sep 1, 2010
    Interesting that a company which warns against the technological abuses of privacy, uses the same tool as the Chinese government.
  16. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    What is this in-store facial recognition system business? If true, they need to let every customer who walks in know.
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Apple hasn’t commented, but that is interesting that the article indicates that. If there’s any validity behind that they actually do use some type of ‘in-store facial recognition’, (Which I’m sort of doubtful), you think Apple would disclose that or in the least, it would be known that are using that type of method.
  18. Black Tiger macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
  19. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    But...but...but...Apple values privacy....Tim Cook and a bunch of commercials said so.
  20. Scooz macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2012
    Come on, just meet in the middle...

    (would he’d made it into the news without that sum?)
  21. KGBguy macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2015
    USSR 2.0
  22. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    Sounds more like the guy is a victim of identity theft than of bad facial recognition software, but good luck getting a billion dollars out of a thief.
  23. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    As Relentless noted, Apple cannot arrest anyone. They can, if policy allows, detain someone, until the proper authorities arrive.

    Since the article states he was arrested, that leads me to believe that the police (along with the DA) believed there was sufficient probable cause (and evidence) for arrest.

    Unless Bah can show Apple was negligent in its security process, I don't see him winning.
  24. jimbobb24 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2005
    If someone with good intent gives information to the police that turns out to be wrong are they liable? This is similar to a Samaritan situation and penalizes people trying to work with law enforcement. We have mechanisms for correcting the bad info as was done in this case but the premise of this case itself is fairly dangerous to our collective efforts to enforce the law.
  25. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    If it is found there was no criminal intent with wrong information being given to law enforcement, said person(s) can still face civil action by the aggrieved party.

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