23 Apr 2019
18-year-old sues Apple for $1 billion: Here's why
An 18-year-old teenager from New York has sued Apple for a whopping $1 billion.
He claims that the Cupertino giant's facial recognition system wrongly pinned him as a culprit who stole from a number of its stores.
The case has been filed in the US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Here are the details.
Four Apple Store thefts using stolen ID
The plaintiff, Ousmane Bah, claims he was arrested in November on the charge of Apple Store thefts - a crime he never committed.
He claims that someone used his stolen non-photo learners' permit to pass themselves off as Bah at Apple's Boston store and stole $1,200 worth of merchandise.
The perp then went on to use the same ID to steal from three other stores.
Bah linked to the theft
In the lawsuit, Bah claimed that Apple had programmed its facial recognition system - designed to recognize people suspected of theft - in such a way that it matched the perp's face with the non-photo ID he had provided.
As a result, with Bah's name, address, and other personal information, the authorities blamed him for the crime, which led to his arrest, NYPost reported.
However, a detective took note of the mix-up
Following Bah's arrest, a detective analyzing the surveillance footage noted that Bah's face didn't match with that of the man who robbed the Apple Store in Manhattan.
Now, the charges against the teenager have been dropped in all states, except New Jersey where the status of the case is still pending.
Evidently, the case was hard on Bah, and he's seeking damages from Apple.
Compensation for "severe stress and hardship"
Bah has now sought $1 billion from Apple as compensation for the hardship he faced due to the false allegations of multiple thefts.
"He was forced to respond to multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship," the complaint filed by prosecutor's alleges.
So far, Apple hasn't commented on the matter or on the working of its security system.