Apple denies using face recognition in its stores after teen sues over false arrest

“Ousmane Bah has pretty solid alibi during the time frame that police say a thief used his name and ID and stole from an Apple store in Boston,” Melissa Locker reports for Fast Company. “He was at his senior prom.”

“Bah, 18, has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the tech company’s facial recognition system led to his false arrest for theft,” Locker reports. “An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit directly, but said the company does not use face recognition technology in its stores.”

Locker reports, “On Monday, Bah filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Apple for its ‘Orwellian surveillance’ system that he says falsely linked him to the crime spree, which apparently caused $1 billion worth of ‘severe stress and hardship.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Somebody’s confused here – and it likely isn’t Apple.

SEE ALSO:
Teen sues Apple for $1 billion, claims facial-recognition software falsely linked him to Apple Store thefts – April 23, 2019

23 Comments

  1. False accusations, denials, hidden weapons of mass destruction program, fake news and nothing burgers. That and a dash of torture makes Apple’s home nation what it’s become today.

    The trial should be a big sell out.

      1. For blast, try Iraq, they are having a blast over there. Not hitting anything but lots of blasts.

        You assumed wrong.

        Now about the topic on hand, oh wait, you didn’t make any contribution about the topic at hand.

          1. I did actually, in the first post I made. “The trial should be a big sell out.”

            I can understand if you don’t understand that this is a direct comment on the topic at hand, especially seeing your on topic comment from a few days ago at

            Tim Cook: We grieve as Islamist terrorists’ bomb attacks kill hundreds of Catholics in Sri Lanka

            They are not “Easter” worshipers, they were worshippers of Christ, killed on Easter.

            and the subsequent comment made by Grammarian.

            Grammarian Monday, April 22, 2019 – 4:24 pm ·

            “Grammatically, the use is correct. Easter becomes the adverb of time, not the direct object. See also, “ Sunday drivers” or “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” or “Lent sufferers”.

            Way to drive more clicks, TT. Care to tell us what prompted your incorrect knee jerk reaction?

            1. And grammatically I am correct:
              No matter what you said, you added NOTHING to the discussion.

              What a waste of a ‘carbon footprint’ you are….

            2. No, you are just a FORMER worshipper on Easter, unless you actually worship Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies.

              And RW never affects or dissuades me, he is nothing more than a reflexive leftist who will never learn anything new because he already has his views set, reality be damned

              But I imagine who REALLY hurt are people like you because-

              No Mueller indictment, despite 2 years of media slant

              Economy doing great despite 2 years of media slant

              Useless lineup of Democrat candidates led by old White guys
              who will be given two years of media slant

              There really IS a crisis on the border, despite two years of media slant

              ISSIS is defeated despite six years of media slant

              See a pattern here? NOTHING the left has claimed for a decade to be new realities is a reality.

              Most people don’t trust the media and see through their agenda EXCEPT for people who so dearly want to keep it alive.

              So laugh all you want about the Easter coverage. It’s aimed at people like you who eat-up their doctrine and shit false realities all over the streets of California.

          1. Actually I do. I find it tragic that such a thing happened and under such circumstances I offer my condolences, thoughts and prayers.

            I made a post under that topic, similar to those for topics that fall in the same realm.

            “Thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families who suffered this atrocity.”

            Now check a look at the link if you wish and compare my response to the others there. See how many others made a similar gesture. There are 45 replies so I can’t be the only one.

            Tim Cook: We grieve as Islamist terrorists’ bomb attacks kill hundreds of Catholics in Sri Lanka

            So when a real tragedy happens you can expect more of the same.

  2. Yet another chance for this former prosecutor to be embarrassed at the venality of some lawyers. To recap:

    High school student says that he lost his NONPHOTO learner’s permit. It was used without his permission, he says, to attempt one or more fraudulent purchases from Apple, and the same person who did that was observed BY HUMAN BEINGS, probably including the police (Apple Security can’t get warrants) on store security footage committing multiple criminal offenses. No facial ID software was necessarily involved, except in the plaintiff’s allegation.

    Based on the connection between the multiple crimes and the ID, THE POLICE swore to a probable cause affidavit alleging that the perpetrator of the crimes and the person lawfully issued the ID were one and the same. They evidently didn’t double-check that apparently incorrect assumption before taking the affidavit before a neutral and impartial magistrate as required by the Fourth Amendment. The magistrate found that the applicant’s statement under oath was solid enough to show probable cause.

    THE JUDGE, not Apple, their security company, or the police, then issued a warrant for the person issued the ID, who was evidently not the actual thief. He was arrested, but was almost immediately released because he had an alibi for the time of some of the offenses and was clearly not the person in the crime-scene photos.

    Based on this, the plaintiff and his lawyers have invented a story that he was somehow targeted by the facial-ID system that Apple denies having, that Apple and its security team are at fault for taking the learner’s permit (which he admits was his) at face value, and that the state officials involved (police, judge, and possibly prosecutors) are not the ones who failed to do due diligence before arresting him.

    Somehow all this has damaged this high-school student to the tune of a billion dollars..

  3. Of course the lawsuit is going to ask for an absurd amount of money, everyone knows Apple has an absurd amount of money stashed overseas. That’s par for the course. What he is awarded is a separate matter.

    Reading the details, it sounds like Apple will want to settle out of court. Apple had the information to know that Bah was innocent, but Apple didn’t put 2+2 together.

    It is unconscionable that after Apple took security video footage of the real perpetrator who stole Bah’s identity as well as Apple products — the film wasn’t used, Apple simply relayed the stolen identity to authorities who then proceeded to arrest what may be a completely innocent man (according to NYPD review).

    Is is surprising that with this much experience in retail, Apple didn’t do a better job working with law enforcement. Why wasn’t Apple’s video footage given to authorities immediately, before Bah’s arrest?

    Moreover, Bah has touched on an issue — if Apple was to use some kind of AI and it mixed up facial ID with stolen credentials, then Apple could be screwing up all kinds of theft investigations not only for themselves, but for authorities as well. A person who’s identification papers are stolen can eventually, with great pain and expense, get them corrected and recover one’s credit history. But a person cannot correct their face if some unaccountable corporation starts incorrectly associating it with another criminal individual. If and when FaceID is hacked, it will be a huge mess for security.

    Bah will be awarded a handsome payout by a jury of his peers. Hopefully not a billion bucks, but certainly enough to reimburse the direct and indirect costs that he did in fact incur. We can only hope that Apple learns that it needs to use old fashioned video reviewed by humans at the police department if it wants to avoid this stuff in the future.

    1. What type of person is capable of swallowing this story, hook, line, and sinker? This gentleman’s fact free, know-it-all, judgmental peers seem to form a near majority of Americans these days.

    2. What makes you think that “Apple had the information to know that Bah was innocent, but Apple didn’t put 2+2 together?”

      Somebody came into an Apple Store and presented a valid state-issued ID identifying him as Ousmane Bah. There was no photo on the ID (a motor vehicle operator learner’s permit), but the individual was recorded on the store security cameras presenting the ID while attempting to obtain property fraudulently. The same individual who presented the Ousmane Bah ID was later observed to be committing further thefts on camera. Those undisputed facts were presented to a magistrate who found probable cause that the individual known only as Ousmane Bah had committed criminal offenses. Apple did not possess any information to suggest that the individual using Ousmane Bah’s NONPHOTO ID was not, in fact, Ousmane Bah.

      It is simply not true that “after Apple took security video footage of the real perpetrator who stole Bah’s identity as well as Apple products — the film wasn’t used.” The film obviously WAS used. That is how they tied the individual who had presented the Ousmane Bah ID to the other crimes.

      Nor is it a mystery “Why wasn’t Apple’s video footage given to authorities immediately, before Bah’s arrest.” It was, but before the arrest there was no way for Apple or the police to know that the man in the videos wasn’t really Ousmane Bah. They didn’t have a picture of the real Bah before his mug shot.

      I agree that “if Apple was to use some kind of AI and it mixed up facial ID with stolen credentials,” that would be bad. However, there is no proof outside the lawsuit petition that any AI was involved here at all. Apple says this was just a routine use of store security footage viewed by human beings. Why should we disbelieve them?

      It would also be bad IF Apple was employing torture to obtain shoplifting confessions, but there is no proof of that either. Elementary logic insists that you cannot draw any valid conclusion from an unverified premise like “Ousmane Bah was recklessly implicated in a crime by an AI using facial recognition technology.”

      To top off all of this, it appears to be the case that Ousmane Bah was sent a court summons after the criminal charges were filed. If he had responded, he could have easily cleared it up in a few minutes by showing that (a) he wasn’t the guy pictured in the images, and (b) he was at his prom the night his ID was first presented. He got arrested because he was too lazy to respond to the summons, not because of Apple’s alleged misconduct. Here in Texas, he could be charged additionally with Failure to Appear, even if he were not guilty of the original offense.

      “Bah will be awarded a handsome payout by a jury of his peers.” Only if he gets a jury composed of entitled high-school twerps who “lose” their ID, ignore court notices when the ID is misused, and then expect a huge payday.

      Perhaps Apple can seek compensation from Ousmane Bah, “not a billion bucks, but certainly enough to reimburse the direct and indirect costs that [it] did in fact incur” as a result of the legal fees and bad publicity from this claim.

    3. Mike, what makes you think that “Apple had the information to know that Bah was innocent, but Apple didn’t put 2+2 together?”

      According to the New York Post, somebody came into a Boston Apple Store and presented a valid state-issued ID identifying him as Ousmane Bah. There was no photo on the ID (a motor vehicle operator learner’s permit), but the individual was recorded on the store security cameras presenting the ID while attempting to obtain property fraudulently. The same individual who presented the Ousmane Bah ID was later observed to be committing further thefts on camera at other stores. Those undisputed facts were presented to a magistrate who found probable cause that the individual known only as Ousmane Bah had committed criminal offenses. Apple did not possess any information to suggest that the individual using Ousmane Bah’s NONPHOTO ID was not, in fact, Ousmane Bah.

      It is simply not true that “after Apple took security video footage of the real perpetrator who stole Bah’s identity as well as Apple products — the film wasn’t used.” The film obviously WAS used. That is how they tied the individual who had presented the Ousmane Bah ID to the other crimes.

      Nor is it a mystery “Why wasn’t Apple’s video footage given to authorities immediately, before Bah’s arrest.” It was, but before the arrest there was no way for Apple or the police to know that the man in the videos wasn’t really Ousmane Bah. They didn’t have a picture of the real Bah before his mug shot.

      I agree that “if Apple was to use some kind of AI and it mixed up facial ID with stolen credentials,” that would be bad. However, there is no proof outside the lawsuit petition that any AI was involved here at all. Apple says this was just a routine use of store security footage viewed by human beings. Why should we disbelieve them?

      It would also be bad IF Martians invaded or Apple was employing torture to obtain shoplifting confessions, but there is no proof of that either. Elementary logic insists that you cannot draw any valid conclusion from an unverified premise like “Ousmane Bah was recklessly implicated in a crime by an AI using facial recognition technology.”

      To top off all of this, it appears to be the case that Ousmane Bah was sent a court summons after the criminal charges were filed. If he had responded, he could have easily cleared it up in a few minutes by showing that (a) he wasn’t the guy pictured in the images, and (b) he was at his prom the night his ID was first presented. He quite possibly got arrested because he was too lazy to respond to the summons, not because of Apple’s alleged misconduct. Here in Texas, he could be charged additionally with Failure to Appear, even if he were not guilty of the original offense.

      “Bah will be awarded a handsome payout by a jury of his peers.” Only if he gets a jury composed of entitled high-school twerps who “lose” their ID, ignore court notices when the ID is misused, and then expect a huge payday.

      Perhaps Apple can seek compensation from Ousmane Bah, “not a billion bucks, but certainly enough to reimburse the direct and indirect costs that [it] did in fact incur” as a result of the legal fees and bad publicity from this claim.

      (I apologize if this is a double posting for some of you)

  4. Even if the student was mistaken regarding his belief of and subsequent claim of Apple having face recognition systems in Apple stores, the fact remains that he has been to put it lightly, severely inconvenienced.

    The source article mentions he first found out about the charges in June via a court summons and was arrested in November. Wonder if he ignored the summons to have to result in an arrest later in the year. Otherwise it’s difficult to see how he wasn’t cleared of charges far ahead of being arrested.

    1. He wasn’t cleared because he ignored the summons he received in June, and five months later, on November 29th, the police came knocking at his door and arrested him. It was impossible to ignore that. He seems full of assumptions about the law.

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