[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
We’ve already been seeing the upsetting and harmful consequences that can come from the use of artificial intelligence — but this grandfather’s claims make it all the more scary.
Earlier this week, Harvey Eugene Murphy Jr., a 61-year-old Houston resident, filed a lawsuit against Sunglass Hut, its parent company EssilorLuxottica, and Macy’s with claims their facial recognition software led to his false imprisonment and eventual rape.
In January of 2022, there was an armed robbery at a Sunglass Hut in Houston, which led to the theft of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and cash. According to Murphy’s filings, which have been reported on by multiple outlets, EssilorLuxottica teamed up with Macy’s to use facial recognition software to figure out who their suspect was. The victim also says he didn’t know anything was out of the ordinary until he went and tried to renew his license, which brought up his warrant. How awful!
Related: Google Software Engineer Charged With Beating Wife To Death
Per a police lineup, which the elderly man’s lawyers Rusty Hardin & Associates claim was tainted, and what he believes was “faulty” AI on the companies’ parts, Murphy was arrested and put in jail. While speaking to The Guardian about how it all went down, Murphy said:
“I almost thought it was a joke.”
But the alleged false imprisonment wasn’t the only horror he had to deal with. He claims that while behind bars, he was sexually assaulted by three men in the prison bathroom, which left him with permanent injuries. Sadly, he also says he didn’t report the incident at the time for fear of retaliation from his abusers:
“That was kind of terrifying. Your anxiety is up so high, you’re still shaking the entire time. And I just got up on my bunk and just faced the wall and was just praying that something would come through and get me out of that tank.”
According to reports, the Harris County District Attorney’s office has since determined he was NOT involved with the crime per his lawyer.
Murphy is seeking $10 million in damages for the alleged negligence, while his lawyers are not only fighting for him, but trying to put out a BIG warning to everyone else. His attorney Daniel Dutko told CBS:
“Mr. Murphy’s story is troubling for every citizen in this country. Any person could be improperly charged with a crime based on error-prone facial recognition software just as he was.”
And to make matters worse, studies conducted by ACLU highly suggest that minorities are more at risk for false positives with facial recognition software.
Such a scary situation, we truly can’t imagine…
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
[Image via FOX 26 Houston/YouTube]