A New York man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple claiming the company’s Apple Watch has a “racial bias” in the blood oximeter.
A New York man filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple on Dec. 24, alleging that the Apple Watch’s blood oximeter has a “racial bias” against individuals with darker skin tones.
The Blood Oxygen app is available on Apple Watch Series 6 and newer and can “measure the oxygen level of your blood on-demand directly from your wrist, providing you with insights into your overall wellness,” Apple explains.
New York resident Alex Morales alleges that he purchased an Apple Watch between 2020 and 2021, and was aware that the watch “purported to measure blood oxygen levels and he believed it did this without regard to skin tone,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York.
The lawsuit further alleges that during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers “confirmed the clinical significance of racial bias of pulse oximetry” using patients’ records.
“For decades, there have been reports that such devices were significantly less accurate in measuring blood oxygen levels based on skin color,” the lawsuit reads.
“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.”
Law.com provides the following summary:
Apple was hit with a consumer class action Saturday in New York Southern District Court alleging that blood oxygen readings on the Apple Watch are less accurate for users with darker skin tone. The lawsuit, filed by Sheehan & Associates, contends that Apple defrauded consumers by marketing the smartwatch without disclosing the limitation. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 1:22-cv-10872, Morales v. Apple Inc.
The full lawsuit can be read below.
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