Apple/SIS misidentification, wrongful arrest

May 2021
Updated: December 2021

New York resident Ousmane Bah is suing (pdf) Apple and security contractor Security Industry Specialists (SIS) for USD 1 billion for wrongfully accusing him of shoplifting multiple times at Apple stores across the US east coast, leading to his arrest.

Reports note that the suit highlights the unreliable and biased nature of many facial recognition systems, and accuses one of the two companies of deleting video images of the purported crimes, despite them surfacing during discovery.

The suit also alleges that a senior SIS executive denied the company ever identified Bah to Apple or the NYPD, though an SIS email to the NYPD suggests to the contrary, and claims 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 disclosed terms.

Operator: Apple; Security Industry Specialists (SIS)
Developer: Security Industry Specialists (SIS)
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Verify identity
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race
Opacity: Existence; Consent; Litigation