Apple/SIS facial recognition misidentifies 'shoplifter' Ousmane Bah
Occurred: May 2021
Apple and security contractor Security Industry Specialists (SIS) were sued (pdf) for wrongfully accusing New York teenager Ousmane Bah of shoplifting multiple times at Apple stores across the US east coast. The accusation had led to Bah's arrest.
Reports note that the suit highlighted the unreliable and biased nature of many facial recognition systems, and accused one of the two companies of deleting video images of the purported crimes, despite them surfacing during discovery.
Furthermore, the suit alleged that a senior SIS executive denied the company ever identified Bah to Apple or to the NYPD, even though an SIS email to the NYPD suggested to the contrary. It also claimed that Apple and SIS selectively deleted video evidence that would have exposed them to potential criminal and civil liability for filing false complaints with the police.
In November 2021, Apple and Bah settled the suit on undisclosed terms.
Operator: Apple; Security Industry Specialists (SIS)
Developer: Security Industry Specialists (SIS)
Purpose: Verify identity
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race
Transparency: Governance; Marketing: Privacy; Legal
News, commentary, analysis
Published: December 2021