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Apple faces racial bias lawsuit over its watches

Randy Mancini 7 December 29, 2022
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 24: Apple Watch models are displayed at the Apple Store at Orchard Road on September 24, 2021 in Singapore. Apple announced September 14 the release of four variants of its latest iPhone 13, alongside other upgrades to its product lineup. (Photo by Feline Lim/Getty Images)
Apple Watch models are displayed at the Apple Store at Orchard Road on September 24, 2021 in Singapore. (Photo by Feline Lim/Getty Images)

OAN Sophia Flores
UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Thursday, December 29, 2022

Apple is facing a lawsuit for the “racial bias” that the company’s Apple Watch displays.

The lawsuit, filed on December 24th by a New York resident, alleges that the watch’s blood oxygen measurement feature does not accurately account for people with darker skin tones, thus proving to have a “racial bias.”

Apple first introduced this feature in 2020 with their Apple Watch Series 6. The company explained that the watch can “measure the oxygen level of your blood on-demand directly from your wrist, providing you with insights into your overall wellness.”

According to the lead plaintiff, Alex Morales, the watch is significantly less accurate when worn by a person with a darker skin tone. Due to not being made aware of this fact before his purchase, he believes that it could be considered consumer fraud.

“Plaintiff was aware (that) the product purported to measure blood oxygen levels and he believed it did this without regard to skin tone, which was relevant to him based on his skin tone,” the lawsuit stated. “Plaintiff expected the product would not incorporate biases and defects of pulse oximetry with respect to persons of darker skin tone.”

Apple has not yet responded to the lawsuit. However, their website states that the feature which monitors one’s blood oxygen levels is for general fitness and is not intended for medical use.