Apple is facing a new lawsuit alleging that the Apple Watch is racially biased. According to Apple Insider, a new class action lawsuit claims that the giant tech company’s Apple Watch sensor exercises discrimination against dark skin people.
The plaintiff, Alex Morales, alleges that he purchased the giant’s wrist tech between 2020/2021 and stated that the blood oxygen sensor and the watch’s pulse oximetry features didn’t account for his skin tone.
Morales filed the Dec. 24 lawsuit on behalf of all New York customers who purchased the tech company’s watch within the statutes of limitations.
Along with New York state, the man also sued on behalf of residents in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming under those states and their respective consumer fraud laws.
“For decades, there have been reports that such devices were significantly less accurate in measuring blood oxygen levels based on skin color,” the plaintiff alleges in his suit. “The ‘real world significance’ of this bias lay unaddressed until the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, which converged with a greater awareness of structural racism which exists in many aspects of society.”
Later in the suit, the plaintiff reasons that researchers previously confirmed the “clinical significance of racial bias of pulse oximetry using records of patients taken during and before the pandemic.”
The class action case argues that the lack of recognition for dark skin tones renders the pulse oximetry feature useless, “[placing] Black patients at increased risk for hypoxemia.”
Doubling down on his case against Apple, Morales accuses the Cupertino-based company of breaching the express warranty, engaging in fraudulent activity, and “unjust enrichment.”
Additionally, the suit claims the company violated New York’s General Business Law and State Consumer Fraud Acts.