back to article Baffling tale of Apple shops' 'non-facial' 'facial recognition', a stolen ID, and a $1bn lawsuit after a wrongful arrest

A teenager is suing Apple in the US for $1bn, claiming he was misidentified as a thief by a mysterious facial-recognition system in the iGiant's stores. Ousmane Bah, 18, filed suit against Cook & Co this week after he was falsely identified as a shoplifter by, it is claimed, a facial recognition system Apple is apparently …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that's why the pencils are so expensive

    > Bah received a letter out of the blue summoning him to a Boston court on an allegation of theft. He was accused of stealing multiple Apple Pencils – a $99 tool used for the iPad Pro – from an Apple Store in the Massachusetts city, adding up to over $1,200.

    > In November, New York City cops barged into Bah's home at 4am, and arrested him on allegations of theft.

    Wow - dawn raid for stealing $1200 worth of pencils. I trust all citizens and smaller business get the same level of diligent service from the NYPD? <snark>

    [Hey, I resisted the humbug joke!]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

      Crime took place in Mass

      Suspect lives in NYC

      That could make it a Federal Case as it has crossed state lines.

      The USA is 50 little countries each with their own laws. Cross a road and what was legal is now punishable by 10-20 years in jail.

      Apple didn't arrest him, the cops did so he should be filing suit against them as well. If he wins that then he has the precident to go after Apple big time.

      A lot of this goes down to him losing some ID and that ID was used by the person committing the crime.

      US Law enforcement has a reputation for going in all guns blazing and only asking questions as an afterthought (or when forced by the courts).

      He won't get his $1B (his lawyer will take up to 30%) but he will get his 15 microseconds of fame and that's it.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

        "Crime took place in Mass

        Suspect lives in NYC"

        Article mentions multiple thefts in multiple stores. Original one was in Boston, Mass, but maybe there were further ones in NY.

        Either way, what a mess. The guy would be fully within his rights to sue the police*, since they clearly did zero due diligence on the case and arrested the guy just on Apple's say-so. Also, as others mentioned, any mom-and-pop store goes to the police with information about a shoplifting suspect, I very much doubt they're going to go for a dawn raid (tactics usually reserved for armed and dangerous criminals not shoplifters). So it's not unlikely Apple pulled a few strings. Will be interesting what any pre-trial discovery reveals about any contacts between Apple and the police.

        Incidentally, 'Ousmane' is a West African name. What odds that (a) Apple's AI facial recognition is OK at recognising white faces and terrible at recognising black ones (as already demonstrated by many studies of facial recognition results developed by white researchers) and (b) the cops went for the SWAT tactics based on his skin colour rather than possible perceived danger of a shoplifter?

        *Of course, this being the US, good luck getting that judgement. Police walk away from shooting and killing innocent people, what's busting into a guy's home at 4am to them? So no wonder he's suing Apple

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

          The guy would be fully within his rights to sue the police*,

          Sure. You can file a suit against anyone.

          since they clearly did zero due diligence on the case and arrested the guy just on Apple's say-so

          NYPD executed an arrest warrant. In the US, the police generally have great discretion in requesting arrest warrants. Diligence here is the province of the judge issuing the warrant, not (legally) the police. I'm certainly not saying I approve, and IANAL, but to the best of my knowledge the NYPD didn't overstep their legal authority or violate normal procedure here. A supposedly-reputable complainant claimed to have evidence of a crime and knowledge of the perpetrator. NYPD took that to a judge and got an arrest warrant. It's by no means a great system, but it's the system we have.

          Of course, this being the US, good luck getting that judgement

          I'd be astonished if a court didn't find that qualified immunity applies. There's little point in trying to sue the police unless you have strong evidence that one or more officers knowingly violated the law. There's supposed to be an exception for incompetence, too, but SCOTUS has determined that violating the law through ignorance does not breach qualified immunity - if a cop arrests you for something that he thinks is illegal, but actually turns out to be legal, you have no recourse.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

        "Apple didn't arrest him, the cops did so he should be filing suit against them as well."

        It was the cops who realised it wasn't him and also gave the tip-off about facial recognition S/W. It looks as if they might be witnesses for the plaintiff.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

          No, the cops didn't gave any tip-offs about "facial recognition". The cop in question has no clue whether Apple uses facial recognition or not, and anything he says about the subject is hearsay. And hearsay counts for nothing.

          And "this card shouldn't be used for identification purposes" - but surely you can use it to try to identify a thief? Anyone going to argue that such evidence should be ignored?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

            "No, the cops didn't gave any tip-offs about "facial recognition"."

            Either the culprit used an 18 year old's temporary permit (usually 60 days) at apple stores up and down the east coast, or he used it once and they have facial recognition.

            Now, if they DO have facial recognition, why didn't apple know immediately when he walked into subsequent stores? And if they DONT have facial recognition, what was Apple doing accepting an 18 yo's temporary permit as ID up and down the east coast?

            Folks, we don't have the whole story. If we knew whether or not the perp used the id in all stores... and we dont even know that he used the id!... then this would explain a lot and rule out facial recognition. If he did NOT use the id at all stores, then someone at Apple Security had to sit down and look at video from multiple stores to determine it the same guy that used the id at one particular store ELSE... they are using facial recognition. So... did he use the id at all stores, or did Apple send all of their video footage to one location for review, or are they using facial recognition? I submit that it must be one of the three...and that a single person reviewing footage from multiple stores for a $100 pencil is unlikely. Thus, either he used the same id in all stores, or they are using facial recognition.

      3. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

        US Law enforcement has a reputation for going in all guns blazing and only asking questions as an afterthought of the grieving relatives.

        1. el kabong Silver badge
          Big Brother

          We're only now entering 1984

          So beware or you soon will find yourself in trouble.

          Always remember, Big Brother will be watching you!

          Almost everywhere so... beware.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: We're only now entering 1984

            It's been 1984 for some time.

            Make Orwell Fiction again.

      4. Da Weezil

        Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

        "A lot of this goes down to him losing some ID and that ID was used by the person committing the crime."

        Except for the article stating quite clearly

        "The interim permit contained personal information about Bah’s full name, address, date of birth, sex, height, eye color, but no photo. It also states that the document shouldn’t be used as identification purposes."

        So it WASNT ID and shouldnt be used/accepted as such

        Id say that makes Apple liable for any "injury" arising from their "misuse" of a temporary permit.

    2. holmegm Bronze badge

      Re: So that's why the pencils are so expensive

      I know, right? It's not as though he were accused of something truly horrific, like an insulting Facebook post.

  3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    The heavy jackboot of the law

    New York City cops barged into Bah's home at 4am, and arrested him on allegations of theft.

    Even if he had shop-lifted $1,200 worth of tat that seems an extreme response.

    I hope he wins his claim.

    1. Proud Father

      Re: The heavy jackboot of the law

      IMO proof that big corp run the USA as their own empire.

      Only crimes against big corp matter, anything not impacting the bottom line is not important.

  4. Anomalous Cowturd
    Coat

    Obviously...

    ...he was stealing it wrong.

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Equality and Fairness

    Isn't it discriminatory and illegal for ID to recognise physical sex as 'gender' in the States now ? Free Americans can be anything they believe they are.

  6. ThatOne Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Yeah well...

    The joys of fecal recognition. What are you gonna do...

    (First they came for Bah... etc.)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

    It thinks one of my dogs is a person and it spots her more reliably than any real person.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

      Dogs are people too.:-)

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

        On the internet no one knows you are a dog.

      2. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

        Dont joke, I suspect several budget UK ISPs use Labradors as their tech support teams.

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D1oAYS9WkAAMEz9.png

        1. John H Woods

          Re: I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

          Well, Labradors understand at least some English; they aren't judgemental; they don't hold grudges; and mainly they just want to please... so it's probably an advantage

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: I hope Apples store software is better than what is on my iMac.

            Which is why no large company will use labradors in a customer disservice role. Too eager to please.

            They want call centre employees with no empathy, who don't care if you live or die. So they'll use cats.

  8. shaolin cookie

    One BEEELLION dollars!!

    Where do they come up with these amounts?! Sure, a dawn raid will be distressing and all that, but a billion? Sheesh. Especially if all Apple did was reporting to the police that this person stole stuff, so it's really the decision of the law enforcement on how they deal with it. Notwithstanding whether or not this facial recognition even exists...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

      The won't get the billion if they win. A judge will assess the proper amount. On the other hand, suing for a billion does get you and your attorney lots of attention.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

        > The won't get the billion if they win.

        I'm not so sure. The complaint states that Apple was stupid enough to file criminal complaints against Mr. Bah in several states. Without ever bothering to double-check the evidence they had on record.

        To boot, one of Apple's security company's agents claimed that no surveillance video exists showing the perpetrator when, in fact, surveillance video was available all along, and it showed that the real perpetrator didn't look anything like Mr. Bah.

        If each instance of filing a false complaint is taken separately - which it should - then Apple might get a really hefty bill for this.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

          One does hope so - shurely gross incompetence that result in harm (in this case reputation) should carry a penalty

        2. Proud Father

          Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

          Doesn't that fall under "contempt of court" to make a false crimimal claim?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

            It depends. For it to be illegal, the person making an incorrect criminal claim has to know that it's incorrect when they make it. It's entirely possible that Apple was just wrong, not lying.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

          "I'm not so sure. The complaint states that Apple was stupid enough to file criminal complaints against Mr. Bah in several states. Without ever bothering to double-check the evidence they had on record."

          Since when does the victim of a crime have to double-check their evidence? They passed the evidence they had to the police: Some good pictures, plus a photo-less ID with a name and address. If some burglar was in your house, was photographed on your doorbell camera, and lost or left an ID, would you not take that evidence straight to the police?

          1. ST Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

            > Since when does the victim of a crime have to double-check their evidence?

            Since giving false evidence in a criminal proceeding is an automatic felony in all 50 States.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

              "Since giving false evidence in a criminal proceeding is an automatic felony in all 50 States."

              Oh you are so clever. What false evidence? They gave the police genuine photos showing the thief. And they gave the police a photo-less identity card with a name and address. Both absolutely genuine. Up to the police to figure out that the genuine owner of the identity card and the genuine owner of the face were not the same person.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

                Yes, I have to agree, however much Bah may have my sympathy. I see three errors here:

                1. Apple has a crap security company. Bad on Apple, but probably not something they can be held liable for.

                2. NYPD should have investigated the evidence, particularly whether the photo matched the ID, before seeking an arrest warrant. Poor behavior by the NYPD, but qualified immunity almost certainly protects them.

                3. The judge who issued the warrant should have insisted the NYPD investigate the evidence first. Again, poor behavior on the judge's part, but almost certainly not something that any legal remedy would be available for.

                Likely all that Bah will achieve is bad press for Apple, which might lead to their dropping this security company, which would be a bit of revenge for Bah.

              2. ST Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

                > And they gave the police a photo-less identity card with a name and address.

                Unlike you, I actually read Mr. Bah's complaint.

                1. The piece of paper Apple gave the police - a driving learner's permit - is NOT an identification card. It is printed in bold letters on it: NOT VALID FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES. I know it is so because I live in New York City, and I have seen driving learner's permits. Driver's learner permits are issued by New York State. The NYPD did NOT accept the learner's permit as valid ID, as they are prohibited by law from doing so.

                2. Apple stated - through their security company, a.k.a. their designated agent acting with apparent authority on their behalf - that there is no surveillance video available to identify the perpetrator. It turns out that there was surveillance video available all along.

                3. While Mr. Bah was in NYPD custody, after his arrest, Apple's surveillance video enabled the NYPD detectives to determine on the spot that Mr. Bah was not the perpetrator. This was the surveillance video that Apple had previously claimed did not exist. It follows that Apple, and/or their designated agent acting with apparent authority, lied to the NYPD, gave false evidence in one or more criminal proceedings, and withheld evidence in one or more criminal proceedings.

                Stop trying to defend Apple's idiocy.

                Even the dumbest of morons knows that lying while giving evidence or testimony in a criminal proceeding is a big no-no. Apple's problem is that they believe that they own the criminal judicial system and they can do and lie as they please. They're about to learn it doesn't work that way.

                1. gnasher729 Silver badge

                  Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

                  1. If a thief loses a piece of paper with a name on it, you use that piece of paper to find them. Whether it's a passport, a temporary license with "not an id" written on it, a notebook, any information that can lead to the suspect, can and should be used.

                  2. Apple did _not_ state anything about facial recognition. One police officer made a comment, but without having any actual knowledge it is just hearsay. And if you use a Mac you know that iPhoto has facial recognition built in, so all you need to do is feed it photos of people you suspect of stealing and it will tell you which ones were on multiple photos. Most people use it for tagging photos of their grandchildren.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

      That's where the bargaining starts... If you ask for 100k and they counter you down to say 10k... Might as well start at 1 beeelllioon, you might get your 100k?

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

        Might start at a billion, and the company's lawyer decide "he's not getting a penny, and we'll make it as expensive for him as possible".

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

          Might start at a billion, and the company's lawyer decide "he's not getting a penny, and we'll make it as expensive for him as possible".

          Doesn't cost the plaintiff a cent IF his lawyer is on a contingency basis. In a nice, high profile, juicy, possibly precedent-setting case like this, I will bet that a lawyer is happy to bear expenses for the time being, for a possible 40% payoff AND the fame if it goes his/her way.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: One BEEELLION dollars!!

            It's mostly not about costing the plaintiff money, but their lawyer.

    3. el kabong Silver badge

      One BEEELLION dollars is proportionate

      It would be way too much for your or for me to pay such a sum of money but not for iApple, in this case one billion dollars seems a pretty fair sum, iApple can pay that money very very easily.

      iApple routinely pays astronomically high sums of money for no reason so now that there is a fair and very good reason for them to pay why would they balk at it?

      Just look at how much much iApple pays tim cook and others, if iApple can so generous with some why would they behave like a scrooge with Bah?

    4. el kabong Silver badge

      apple has recklessly put Bah's life in great danger

      Bah was lucky not having been shot by the cops, we all know how tragic those 4am police raids can be, Bah is a victim who deserves fair compensation, apple must pay for it.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: apple has recklessly put Bah's life in great danger

        If the law gave us all what we deserve, the world would be a very different place.

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Apple doesn't use facial recognition?

    Ok, maybe not them per se. But who owns the cameras? Who's flagging the images? If it's the security firm than they were hired by Apple and Apple had to know what they were buying for security. Or so it would seem.

  10. TsVk!

    I seriously need to get falsely arrested at 4am, I'm in the wrong industry.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      It would be good in retrospect, but even frequently having to be up very early (or late depending on how you look at it) I am inlikely to be either happy or coherent at 4am (the reson for the timing I assume along with police overtime - after all thy would have needed a SWAT team to back it up).

      But at least he was not shot. Even the most neanderthal of UK cops tend not to shoot first and take questions later (with some dishonorable exceptions of course).

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Play the right video games and its quite easy to be visited by a SWAT team ...

  11. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Stealing pencils? What's the point?

    Was he lead astray as a child?

    That video surveillance sure needs to sharpen up! - It can't be shaving that much off their shoplifting problem, for crayon out loud.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      This isn't any pencil, it's an Apple pencil.

      Oh, sorry. Wrong advert.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bumps along the way for the rebirth of Dehomag.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    How about ...

    ... making the difference between $1billion and the maximum sane pay day fraud?

  14. Little Mouse

    But what about the Police?

    Is it even legal to get people "wrongly" arrested?

    Have the Police got nothing to say to Apple about this?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: But what about the Police?

      Reading between the lines, it looks as if they're going to say it from the witness box if it actually goes to court.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: But what about the Police?

      Is it even legal to get people "wrongly" arrested?

      Sure. Happens all the time.

      Someone brings a complaint to the police. They supply whatever evidence and other information they may have, based on the questions the police ask. That might include speculation and outright error.

      As long as none of it is deliberately false, the complainant has not done anything wrong, in the eyes of the law.

      The police are supposed to investigate and evaluate the evidence, and if they wish attempt to gather more (including by interviewing other people,which is actually how they do most of their work in non-trivial cases). And then if they think they have reasonable suspicion, they can seek an arrest warrant.

      In this case, they appear to have looked at the evidence they received from Apple (or their security company) and gone right ahead with the "seek a warrant" bit. If that warrant named the wrong person, well, that's no violation by Apple. Not even if Apple accused the wrong person, as long as they did so in good faith.

  15. ocratato

    A Good Counter Argument ...

    to the old "If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about" argument in favour of installing these systems.

    I have always said that the main problem is not being identified as a miscreant, but being mis-identified as a miscreant.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: A Good Counter Argument ...

      I have always said that the main problem is not being identified as a miscreant, but being mis-identified as a miscreant.

      It's happened to me a few times, including one occasion when five intimidating-sized cops turned up at the door. I don't even know what the accusation was on that occasion!

      On an earlier occasion I got stopped because - apparently - I looked like someone who had been reported by several women as a sexual attacker. That was facial recognition by a human cop.

      These experiences are slightly traumatic, but it never occurred to me to put myself through the far bigger trauma of inviting lawyers into my life.

      1. Steve K Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: A Good Counter Argument ...

        I looked like someone who had been reported

        Not just look - Sounds like they tried to nick you (sorry...)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: A Good Counter Argument ...

        "I got stopped because - apparently - I looked like someone who had been reported by several women as a sexual attacker."

        The cops may have been lying. In the US, it isn't rare for cops to use excuses like "you matched the description of someone we're looking for" when they just want to stop someone but have to real reason to.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: A Good Counter Argument ...

          I deleted my reply to Steve K when I realised my response to his joke was inappropriate to this particular story[1]. And because I'm uncertain of the detail I had mentioned.

          But they weren't lying on that occasion. I had newly arrived in the area (just back in Blighty from several years in Italy), but when I told the story to friends locally, they said yes, I looked remarkably like the photofits they'd seen over several months of disturbing reports.

          [1] I routinely use Mr Scrooge's trademark expression of disdain at any time of year.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: A Good Counter Argument ...

        "On an earlier occasion I got stopped because - apparently - I looked like someone who had been reported by several women as a sexual attacker. That was facial recognition by a human cop."

        One of my employees had something similar happen to him (a cop was supposedly attacked in a home invasion and arson by some "satanic gothy person")

        Some weeks later, the "victim" was arrested and charged with making the story up (all the forensics pointed to him having done it himself and rather pointedly all the injuries were clearly self-inflicted) - it was at the height of the 1980s "satanic devil worshippers" scares that included childcare workers being prosecuted for operating covens in creches (very Salam witch trially, and some people are still in jail on convictions on this despite the "victims" having come out later saying they were coached into things by certain child psychologists - (known to have a fixation on satanic cults and to be religious nutters) - Not because they were found guilty, but because they still proclaim their innocence and are therefore "not accepting they did wrong")

        It turned out the police knew the "attack" was faked all along - but that didn't stop them hassling the _shit_ out of anyone who looked remotely like the description of the ficticious attacker on the basis that one of their own had been taken down.

        At least in this case there _is_ evidence showing the guy wasn't where $BIGCORP says he was and isn't who they say he is, else he'd probably be railroaded just so they could make a point.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "What may have happened was that the suspect found and kept Bah's state ID that he earlier lost"

    No. Bah was the suspect at one time. What may have happened is that the culprit found and kept Bah's ID.

    The one whodunnit is the culprit (or perp if you want to use US jargon).

    The suspect is the one who's suspected* of being the culprit but remains innocent until proved guilty.

    Unless and until someone else is suspected, and there doesn't appear to have been, then there is at present no suspect.

    *Big clue here as to meaning.

    1. Shady
      Mushroom

      re: The one whodunnit is the culprit

      The one who smelt it, dealt it.

      The one that said the rhyme, did the crime........

      Sorry, just started reminiscing about my yoof.

  17. GlenP Silver badge

    Missing the Point...

    The point here is not that facial recognition software, if it even existed, misidentified the person, it's that the claimants identity was incorrectly linked to his image from the earlier incident.

    I don't actually believe there is any software involved. It would be reasonable practice to review the CCTV manually after a theft (or multiple thefts) and look for "known" faces. I'd say Apple, and the Police, had reasonable grounds to suspect Bah of the thefts. The failure was the original store accepting an invalid document for ID purposes (if indeed that's what happened).

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Missing the Point...

      Indeed if there WAS some software which scoured all the in-store CCTV and picked out the same face from the crowd in a bunch of stores where gear went missing... I'd call that a pretty impressive performance. And I'd be saying it's a shame the system was let down by some spotty Herbert who is more interested in getting a collar, accepting the dodgy ID at face value, than in the widespread ramification of their actions in associating that face with that ID.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Missing the Point...

      Well I can understand why at a pinch the documentation might have been accepted - maybe with something else - a credit card for example?

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Missing the Point...

      "I'd say Apple, and the Police, had reasonable grounds to suspect Bah of the thefts. "

      Except that even the cops say he looks nothing like the actual crook.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Missing the Point...

        ""I'd say Apple, and the Police, had reasonable grounds to suspect Bah of the thefts. "

        Except that even the cops say he looks nothing like the actual crook."

        The ID was reasonable grounds to suspect him. So the police was completely right to go to his place and check him out. Then they should have compared his face with the photos, and since they didn't match, took note that he is not a suspect anymore.

        Good idea would have been to then ask him as a witness if he has any idea who might have taken his ID, and showed him the photo and ask if he knows the person by any chance. (Not unreasonable that the ID was stolen by an acquaintance and not a random stranger).

  18. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I hope Apple could at least be condemned for false denunciation?

    Also, why waking up the 'suspect' at 4.00 AM? Couldn't the police ask him to come to the station to check some things??

    Anyway, the guy was lucky, he wasn't shot by the cops.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Sadly, that's not how US police works.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Also, why waking up the 'suspect' at 4.00 AM?

    It's to make sure they're at home - you wouldn't want to line up your expensive SWAT team and support units etc only to find the target had nipped out for a newspaper.

    My wife once worked as a translator for the UK Home Office and was asked along on a dawn raid on a family who'd overstayed a tourist visa and were living and working illegally in the UK. The raid was arranged for 5am but when they got there the wife had already left for work and there was just the bemused husband plus two young children. (It transpired, in that incompetent way that only a Government department can truly aspire to, the immigration officers had taken so long to track down this couple that they'd had a family while in the UK, so the children were UK citizens and couldn't be deported which meant the parents had to be allowed to stay. Waste of time and money all round.)

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Just think about all that lovely overtime......

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "they'd had a family while in the UK, so the children were UK citizens and couldn't be deported"

      FWIW, only about 30 countries automatically recognise a person as a citizen simply because they were born within the country's borders, no matter who the parents are. The US and Canada being about the only "western" countries who do so.

      Being born in the UK of non-UK citizens doesn't make the child a citizen by default. Being born abroad by parents of UK citizenship is more complex and depends not only on when an where, but the status of the parents. If one or both are citizens by descent, then they can pass on their citizenship rights. If both parents are naturalised or otherwise became UK citizens, then any children don't have automatic UK citizenship rights (it's complex!)

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        "If one or both are citizens by descent, then they can pass on their citizenship rights. If both parents are naturalised or otherwise became UK citizens, then any children don't have automatic UK citizenship rights (it's complex!)"

        No no no, you got it upside down. The average British citizen living in the UK is "citizen not by descent". You are a citizen "not by descent" if you are born in the UK to at least one British parent. You are a citizen "by descent" if you are born outside the UK to at least one British parent _not by descent_. You are NOT a British citizen if you are born outside the UK to one or two parents who are British _by descent_.

        "By descent" is the second class citizenship - you can only pass it to a child born in the UK (but then the child gets the first class "not by descent" citizenship). If you are naturalised or otherwise become UK citizen, then you are British citizen "not by descent", that is first class.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "No no no, you got it upside down. "

          You're right. I did say it was complex :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But just why do they need to line up a SWAT team for petty theft?

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Fly risk?

        Fly risk?

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        becaude they lurvv their toys.

  20. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    they'd had a family while in the UK, so the children were UK citizens and couldn't be deported which meant the parents had to be allowed to stay. Waste of time and money all round.)

    That will not stop the Home Office.

  21. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    Bravo Sierra

    "...Apple identifies suspected thieves as they enter and walk around its stores using facial recognition technology."

    By 'suspected thieves' they really mean 'customers'.

    1. PAKennedy

      Re: Bravo Sierra

      I've seen Apple prices. The thieves are on the other side of the counter.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was once a person of interest in a triple homicide. The suspect had the same name as I did and had residences in and around the city I had lived in. The cops showed up at my grandparents, a prior address of mine, were polite, asked some questions of them and then (correctly) ruled me out due to significant age difference and the fact that I no longer lived in state. This was in early 2008 or so.

    Seems overboard to have an overnight raid.

    I've seen other situations where the use of a stolen identity has ruined lives and taken years to sort out.

  23. John H Woods

    If Anders Brevik gets released...

    ... I'm gonna need facial surgery

  24. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    This is a wrongful arrest lawsuit with lawyer BS glitter on top

    I strongly suspect this arrest will be found to have nothing-at-all to do with Apple. The wrongfully arrested Mr. Bah has a fool for a lawyer. Asking $1 Billion is nothing more than laughter inducing.

    If, after paying for his fool of a lawyer, Mr. Bah wants to sue someone, his option is IMHO only the NYPD. He might actually win that one, if he has a penny left to his name.

    In any case, wrongful arrest is not acceptable and the NYPD has some self-consideration at hand. Prominent in their self-repair is the prevention of confabulation of nonsense, such as “an NYPD detective told Bah that Apple identifies suspected thieves as they enter and walk around its stores using facial recognition technology.“ If an NYPD detective really did say that, he’s the trigger for the foolishness of this case. No, Apple really does not do that.

  25. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Of actual concern will be actual face recognition perpetrated by the usual suspects: Marketing

    As such, I highly recommend obtaining a facial obfuscation kit designed to drive the marketing morons, (versus marketing mavens, who treat customers with respect), out of their tiny abusive little minds:

    Guy Fawkes ‘Anonymous’ Mask

    Officially Licensed Groucho Marx Glasses

    Anti-surveillance mask lets you pass as someone else

  26. TonyJ Silver badge

    "...On the internet no one knows you are a dog."

    Ah my favourite Abraham Lincoln Quote...

    "...So it WASNT ID and shouldnt be used/accepted as such..."

    No, but it would be evidence

    "...The won't get the billion if they win..."

    Hope he does though if they do indeed use some form of facial recognition (which as pointed out above, does seem likely).

  27. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    All this froofaraw over faulty facial recognition that may or may not be deployed in some or all Apple stores.

    But as the article clearly states (in doing so directly contradicting the headline) the basis of the identification was a lost document that bore no photograph and had been used (illegally) to generate a credential - with the help of an Apple "genius" - that though it may or may not have a photograph associated with it in those Apple stores that may or may not have deployed a facial recognition system, did not bear a picture of the suspect and so this ill-advised raid can hardly have been on the basis of broken facial recognition at all.

    Apple had (or had not) associated the face with the wrong name and address (because an employee did something illegal) and successfully spotted said face in multiple stores possibly fitted with facial recognition systems. Allegedly. The installed (or not) system worked perfectly, spotting the face associated with the credential.

    The police were acting in good faith (if a little heavy handedly) on the name and address information alone. Being arrested under these circumstances is annoying but entirely reasonable, absent the kicking down of doors if this in fact did happen.

    Had the thief bought something (without being photographed) with a forged credit card based on the same information the trail would have led back to the stupid young twit who didn't keep his very important identifying document safe - as he had been told to do in the information that it came with.

    Conclusion: No good guys here. Bad Actor was enabled by Witless Young Twit and Clueless Apple "Genius", causing Eager But Ill-Informed Police to act, prompting Bottom Feeding Weasel to get busy.

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