Student accused of robbing Apple Stores sues for $1 billion


A lost non-photo ID may have been one of the problems.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

An 18-year-old student is suing Apple for $1 billion, alleging that he was wrongfully linked to a series of thefts at Apple Stores.

Ousmane Bah, who lives in New York, was arrested in November. He blames facial recognition software used in Apple Stores, which makes it possible to track suspected thieves. He also claims that he could not possibly have been the thief in question.

Bah says that a lost non-photo learner’s permit of his may have been used as ID by a thief. The suit goes on to suggest that, as a result, his name and the face of the real thief were erroneously paired in the facial recognition software. According to Bah, the arrest warrant issued for him included a photo which did not resemble him. He claims that a theft in Boston could not have included him, since it took place while he was attending his senior prom.

“He was forced to respond to multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship,” the lawsuit noted. It names both Apple and security firm Security Industry Specialists as defendants. The case, Bah v. Apple Inc., was filed in New York’s Southern District of New York.

Apple Store thefts

This is the first time that I’ve heard about facial recognition being used in Apple Stores. However, this kind of technology has increasingly been used in retail to track thieves. Apple Stores have a particular problem when it comes to thefts. Last year, a number of U.S. Apple Stores were targeted by a ring of organized thieves.

While Apple has taken steps to boost security, on this occasion it sounds like the efforts might not have worked quite as planned.

Source: Bloomberg