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NY teenager sues Apple for $1 bn, blames faulty face-recognition for arrest

Ousmane Bah, 18, said he was arrested at his home in New York in November and charged with stealing from an Apple store

Bob Van Voris | Bloomberg 

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A student sued Inc. for $1 billion, claiming the company’s software falsely linked him to a series of thefts from stores.

Ousmane Bah, 18, said he was arrested at his home in in November and charged with stealing from an store. The arrest warrant included a photo that didn’t resemble Bah, he said in a lawsuit filed Monday. One of the thefts he was charged with, in Boston, took place on the day in June he was attending his senior prom in Manhattan, he said.

Bah said he had previously lost a non-photo learner’s permit, which may have been found or stolen by the real thief and used as identification in Apple stores. As a result, Bah claimed, his name may have been mistakenly connected to the thief’s face in Apple’s system, which he said the company uses in its stores to track people suspected of theft.

"He was forced to respond to multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship,” Bah said in the complaint.

Apple said on Tuesday it doesn’t use facial recognition in its stores. Security Industry Specialists Inc., a security firm that’s also named as a defendant, declined to comment on the suit.

First Published: Tue, April 23 2019. 23:20 IST