NEW YORK (CBS Local) — A New York student is suing Apple for $1 billion, claiming the tech giant’s facial-recognition software wrongly linked him to a series of thefts from Apple stores.
Ousmane Bah, 18, claims someone used a stolen ID to pretend they were him after they got caught stealing $1,200 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in Boston on May 31, 2018, according to papers filed on Monday in Manhattan federal court.
Bah was attending his senior prom in Manhattan on the day of one of the thefts in Boston, according to the court documents.
The suit claims Bah was also falsely implicated in other Apple Store thefts in Delaware, New Jersey and Manhattan.
Bah was arrested by New York City Police Department officers on Nov. 29, but a detective working the case viewed surveillance footage from the Manhattan store and concluded that the suspect “looked nothing like” Bah, his lawsuit states.
The complaint said that Bah, a college student, was “forced to respond to multiple false allegations,” which lead to “severe stress and hardship.”
“He advanced through his freshman year of college experiencing constant anxiety and fear that at any moment he would be arrested again for a crime he did not commit,” according to the complaint.
Charges against Bah have been dropped in every state except New Jersey, where the case is still pending.
Bah claims he had 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, his name may have been mistakenly connected to the thief’s face in Apple’s facial-recognition system, which the suit claims the company uses in its stores to track people suspected of theft.
Apple said on Tuesday it doesn’t use facial recognition in its stores. Security Industry Specialists Inc., a company also listed a defendant, declined to comment on the suit.