Apple paid Oregon woman millions after technicians used her iPhone to post explicit images...

midian182

Posts: 6,926   +62
Staff member
In a nutshell: Apple has paid a multi-million dollar settlement to a woman after iPhone technicians posted explicit images and videos of her to social media using a phone she sent in for repair.

According to legal filings, first reported by The Telegraph, a 21-year-old student in Oregon sent her iPhone to a Sacramento, California repair center in 2016 operated by Apple-approved contractor Pegatron. While there, two technicians used the device to upload '10 photos of her in various stages of undress and a sex video' to Facebook and other internet locations. The employees were subsequently fired.

The way the images and video were uploaded made it appear that the woman had posted the content herself, but she was only made aware of what happened when friends on Facebook saw them. The incident caused her "severe emotional distress."

The woman sued Apple, which was identified only as "customer" in the lawsuit. The matter became public when the case was referenced in a new, unrelated case involving the Cupertino firm and Pegatron. Filings say the customer was "clearly Apple."

Apple in a statement confirmed that the incident took place. "When we learned of this egregious violation of our policies at one of our vendors in 2016, we took immediate action and have since continued to strengthen our vendor protocols," a spokesperson said.

The exact amount Apple paid out to the woman is unclear. Her attorneys were asking for $5 million.

The revelation casts a shadow over a company that has long prided itself on the privacy it offers customers, with many new privacy-focused features revealed at WWDC 2021. It also poses questions over Apple's insistence that only approved retailers repair the company's devices, though it has eased those policies in recent years.

This isn't the first time Apple has been in trouble over employees and contractors accessing private information. An Australian Apple store fired staff in 2016 after claims they stole intimate images from customers' phones. A year earlier, a man sued the company for "wiping his life" after a store deleted years of data from his iPhone.

Image credit: Difught, Lens Hitam

Permalink to story.

 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,631   +2,267
While this is terrible... it once again raises the important point of "DO NOT TAKE INTIMATE PICTURES / VIDEOS OF YOURSELF ON YOUR SMARTPHONE!!!"

I completely agree with this statement. The only thing I can really add to this, is that it should have been the vender or the 2 technicians who should have been sued. However, I do not know, nor do I care to know all the details.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 376   +285
While this is terrible... it once again raises the important point of "DO NOT TAKE INTIMATE PICTURES / VIDEOS OF YOURSELF ON YOUR SMARTPHONE!!!"
I do not personally do it ... I guess for the sake of humanity, but I fully understand others might have used it for this purpose, quite often, and they feel like their "data" is safe on a device.
The problem is probably just simple, be careful what you share, even with a technician and understand the risk potential.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
Wait, I thought only 3rd party repair places would do something like this?

At least, that's what Apple and the other big companies are trying to argue against right to repair with...
Or can we all admit that there is always a chance to unintentionally hire terrible people?
No you see, Apple is inventing 'technicians stealing photos' so that 3rd party repair shops are able to do the same. That's what Apple is in the business of, after all: astonishing inventions that change the world! /s

It's rare that one story so perfectly crystallizes everything that is wrong with tech and society today at once.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 434   +581
No you see, Apple is inventing 'technicians stealing photos' so that 3rd party repair shops are able to do the same. That's what Apple is in the business of, after all: astonishing inventions that change the world! /s

It's rare that one story so perfectly crystallizes everything that is wrong with tech and society today at once.
Nude selfies has existed as long as the camera. It's nothing to do with how the society is today. I worked in a one hour photo shop when I was young. People frequently had selfies to print. II don't know if they expected us to be able to get them from the roll to the folder without having to look at them...
In fact, nude selfies has existed since we invented cave drawings.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,771   +2,086
Yes stupid, but ANYTIME I send a phone, computer etc in, I make sure there isn't anything
on it, that I don't want someone to see. I wouldn't keep "photos in various stages of undress"
on a stupid phone/computer...but I'm not of that selfie generation.
"but what if your phone is broken". Put em on a removable card, or just don't do it.
 

Scshadow

Posts: 652   +309
It also poses questions over Apple's insistence that only approved retailers repair the company's devices, though it has eased those policies in recent years.

They really haven't. You still can't buy any parts unless you jump through major hoops that make a repair shop more ineffective then Apple themselves. You have to follow all their terms. If you don't, then Apple can kick you out of the program. You can't buy repair parts in advance like screens. You have to send a broken screen to Apple before Apple will send a repair shop a replacement screen. Thats horrible turn around time and not feasible for independant shops. You can't get board view information from Apple. You can't get chips for component level repair. So neither can you get the chips to repair devices, nor would apple provide the means to figure out what component is malfunctioning on the board to replace it in the first place. Repair shops still have to dumpster dive donor boards to get the chips needed to repair motherboards and they have to obtain leaked board schematics in order to troubleshoot motherboard issues. AND if Apple catches you doing component level repair, thats breaking their terms and you can't get parts for the limited range they "offer". There are increased usage of serialized parts, meaning they can't be paired without Apple's software and that software is not something made available to independent repair. Their independent repair program is nothing more than a publicity stunt. A front so that Apple can claim they are trying to be reasonable. For anyone that cares, Louis Rossmann's youtube channel is a treasure trove of information in right to repair issues and legislation. And despite being initially hopeful that the Independent Repair program from Apple was a step in the right direction, he has since come to realize it's all just a sham. A shop like his would go out of business if he joined the independent repair program as he wouldn't be allowed to do most of the repairs he does.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
They really haven't. You still can't buy any parts unless you jump through major hoops that make a repair shop more ineffective then Apple themselves. You have to follow all their terms. If you don't, then Apple can kick you out of the program. You can't buy repair parts in advance like screens. You have to send a broken screen to Apple before Apple will send a repair shop a replacement screen. Thats horrible turn around time and not feasible for independant shops. You can't get board view information from Apple. You can't get chips for component level repair. So neither can you get the chips to repair devices, nor would apple provide the means to figure out what component is malfunctioning on the board to replace it in the first place. Repair shops still have to dumpster dive donor boards to get the chips needed to repair motherboards and they have to obtain leaked board schematics in order to troubleshoot motherboard issues. AND if Apple catches you doing component level repair, thats breaking their terms and you can't get parts for the limited range they "offer". There are increased usage of serialized parts, meaning they can't be paired without Apple's software and that software is not something made available to independent repair. Their independent repair program is nothing more than a publicity stunt. A front so that Apple can claim they are trying to be reasonable. For anyone that cares, Louis Rossmann's youtube channel is a treasure trove of information in right to repair issues and legislation. And despite being initially hopeful that the Independent Repair program from Apple was a step in the right direction, he has since come to realize it's all just a sham. A shop like his would go out of business if he joined the independent repair program as he wouldn't be allowed to do most of the repairs he does.
All of this is also just the bow on the shoddy quality of their work at the micro level as well. Apple products only look and feel quality to the naked eye, but are full of thoughtless design flaws and oversights that tend to shortly cripple the device in question; monitor ribbon cables that get sawed off by hinges, memory solder balls that detach from the chips, voltage lines running millimeters way from chips that short on debris, it's an endless horror show of mediocrity that embodies all the negative qualities you could imagine of something "Designed in California and Assembled in China", and the sad gullible simp collective they have keep buying it. It's GOOP for nerds.
 

AIC1Drew

Posts: 35   +21
While this is terrible... it once again raises the important point of "DO NOT TAKE INTIMATE PICTURES / VIDEOS OF YOURSELF ON YOUR SMARTPHONE!!!"

Exactly. Hate to say it but the words "personal accountability" and "actions have consequences" sum up the article all the way around. I guess there's a silver lining....life wrecked yet there's a mountain of cash dumped on you?? Lesson learned? ehhhh
 

tomkaten

Posts: 297   +266
Nude selfies has existed as long as the camera. It's nothing to do with how the society is today. I worked in a one hour photo shop when I was young. People frequently had selfies to print. II don't know if they expected us to be able to get them from the roll to the folder without having to look at them...
In fact, nude selfies has existed since we invented cave drawings.

Not once in my life have I felt the urge to use one of the dozens of cameras that I've owned to photograph or film myself naked. Guess I should be ashamed to publicly admit that in today's society, where normal is the new odd.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 434   +581
Not once in my life have I felt the urge to use one of the dozens of cameras that I've owned to photograph or film myself naked. Guess I should be ashamed to publicly admit that in today's society, where normal is the new odd.
Again, read what you're replying to.
What you, yourself, feels has nothing to do with what everybody else thinks and do. Not today, not 30 years ago.
 

lostinlodos

Posts: 187   +46
Why did she file against Apple and not the employees? And …
Why would Apple settle over this?
Apple didn’t post her info. The employees did.

If I were on Apple’s legal team I would have offered $100K go away money to settle this suit and the information on the employees to opposing consul.
The worst thing the company did here was a chain of custody link issue.
 

BigMeatyClackers

Posts: 10   +8
Why did she file against Apple and not the employees? And …
Why would Apple settle over this?
Apple didn’t post her info. The employees did.

If I were on Apple’s legal team I would have offered $100K go away money to settle this suit and the information on the employees to opposing consul.
The worst thing the company did here was a chain of custody link issue.
Damn dude. Apply to Apple's legal team and tell them how much you could have saved them!!!
 

lostinlodos

Posts: 187   +46
Damn dude. Apply to Apple's legal team and tell them how much you could have saved them!!!

I’m not trying to troll or be an arse. I’m serious!
why the hell didn’t they just supply the info for the employees that did this?
every company that ever existed has an arse at one point or another.
Stake the wanker and move on.