Wrongful Arrest Raises (Another) Alarm: Invasive Facial Recognition Technology’s Flaws Exposed in $10M Lawsuit

Credit: EFF Photos

Harvey Eugene Murphy Jr, a 61-year-old man, is launching a legal battle against Macy’s and EssilorLuxottica, Sunglass Hut’s parent company, alleging a misidentification by facial recognition technology led to his unlawful arrest. Murphy’s lawsuit asserts that owing to a flawed criminal identification by a low-quality camera image, he spent days unjustly incarcerated where he underwent horrific physical and sexual violence.

In January 2022, a robbery at a Houston-based Sunglass Hut led to the theft of merchandise worth thousands. However, Murphy’s legal counsel insists that Murphy was living in California, not Texas, during that time frame.

Murphy’s lawsuit details how an EssilorLuxottica staff member in cooperation with Macy’s used facial recognition software to single out him as the thief. Following the allegation, a team member from EssilorLuxottica claimed to have identified one of two burglars involved in the heist using this technology, directing the Houston police department to halt its ongoing investigation