New lawsuit claims Apple Watch sensor uses racial bias

Alex Morales purchased an Apple Watch between 2020–2021. His claim is that its sensors for pulse oximetry are “significantly less accurate in measuring blood oxygen levels based on skin color,” and that “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.”

Apple Insider dug into more of the subject and where the lawsuit’s claims came from and how this isn’t Apple’s first rodeo when it comes to skin tone and device efficacy:

The 2022 lawsuit isn’t the only complaint the Apple Watch has faced with regard to skin. Back in 2015, users complained that black wrist tattoos interfered with the device’s heart sensor.

Apple confirmed the issue in May 2015. “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance, read an updated support page. “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”

Those issues happened before the addition of the blood oxygen sensor, which Apple added to the product line with the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020.

As always, don’t read the comments because they aren’t conducive to peace and critical thinking.

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