The news of a teenager suing Apple shook the entire corporate world. The sum of $1bn of compensation has created a perfect sensation. A complaint of unauthorized usage of the face recognition system by Apple in its stores is said to have triggered the lawsuit.
The episode started on November 29th, when the NYPD officers arrested Ousmane Bah on the charges of a series of Apple store thefts in New Jersey, Manhattan, Delaware, and Boston. The real thief used the ID card of Ousmane Bah in which his photo was not affixed. Yet, the complainant says that Apple has programmed the face recognition system of its stores to link the real thief’s face with that of Bah’s.
Later a detective found that Bah was a different person and not the thief. He arrived at this after examining the surveillance footage of the stores. Besides, Bah was able to prove that he was attending his senior prom in Manhattan when the event occurred. The case seems to be rare. There is no clarity whether the legality of Bah’s claim will hold up in the court. If it holds up, this case would be the major turning point in bringing vital changes in the privacy agreement laws in the US.
New York Post reports that the major concern here is the use of surveillance data without the knowledge of customers. This has triggered the fear of customers.
In the virtual world, the vulnerability of data and the risk associated holds true always. In spite of various advancements in the way of storing data, data theft and misuse are present everywhere. It is part of the ethical responsibility of the corporates to reveal this fact to the customers while tapping consumer data. Even when the corporates assure data privacy, the customer has every right to know that his data is being collected. The corporates are liable to reveal the fact related to data collection. Ensuring a high level of transparency is essential in this digital world.
In reality, most customers are not aware that corporates collect financial, identity and preference data from them. Most of them do not know the methods of how this data is indirectly sourced. Only when the customer faces some risk/loss, he gets to know that his data has already been tapped. Also, when the corporates give scope for customer misunderstanding such incidents happen. In this case, there is also a possibility of a wrong pre-conceived notion about technology misuse on the part of the complainant.
The complainant has accused that Apple is using its store surveillance data. The data is used to track individuals who are suspected of theft. Most of the customers of the stores were not aware of the secret analysis of their faces.
The story concludes with confirmation from Apple’s side. The company says it does not use face recognition in its stores. This confirmation has been issued by the corporate giant on 23rd April 2019. Face recognition seems to be used only in its products.