Apple store worker fired for sending customer's intimate photo to his own phone

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

As the Washington Post reports, Fuentes had an appointment on November 4 to have her iPhone screen repaired. Sensibly, she deleted all social media and financial apps beforehand and was going to remove all her photos as well, but the store brought the appointment forward a few hours, meaning she never had time.

After arriving in a hurry, Fuentes gave her iPhone to an employee. He began “messing around with it for quite a while,” and asked for her passcode twice. “I didn’t really pay any mind to it because I just figured he’s doing his job, looking into my insurance info or whatever,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

Once Fuentes got home, she examined her phone and noticed a text had been sent to an unknown number. When she opened the message, the truth dawned on her: the Apple worker had searched through her photos, found an intimate one, and texted it to himself.

The photo was an “extremely personal” one that Fuentes took for her boyfriend. “It had my geolocation on so he (the employee) also knows where I live,” she added.

Fuentes noted that the picture was taken 12 months ago and was in a library of over 5,000 images, meaning the worker must have spent a good amount of time browsing through them. When she went back to the store and confronted the man, he admitted the text was delivered to his number but didn’t know how the picture got sent.

Not surprisingly, the man in question was fired by Apple. “We are grateful to the customer for bringing this deeply concerning situation to our attention,” a spokesperson said. “Apple immediately launched an internal investigation and determined that the employee acted far outside the strict privacy guidelines to which we hold all Apple employees. He is no longer associated with our company.”

Fuentes said she would press charges against the man, and local police have confirmed they are continuing to investigate.

Back in 2016, Apple fired staff from one of its Australian stores following allegations they were stealing intimate photos of female customers from iPhones that were in for repair.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
One of the major issues in the US is a matter of "trust". In the past, trust was one of the most significant issues that caused people to use or avoid many companies. It's obviously something that is easy to lose and very difficult to regain. Over the past several decades a general attitude of "it didn't happen to me so why should I care" has been an encouragement to those that would break our trust for their own personal gain as did this technician. I applaud the store management for their quick actions and hope the local prosecutor will be equally diligent.
Trust is the foundation of any service oriented business and maintaining it must be paramount if that business is to succeed. The old government Consumer Protection Agency used to be highly effective in combating those that have and would abuse their clients. Unfortunately politics seeped in due to business pressures and now they are not much more than a toothless tiger.
While I agree with stewi0001 I don't think it should be that way. We should have laws and standards to protect us that are strictly enforced and punish anyone that chooses to break those laws, regardless of their reason and regardless of who they are.
 
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lipe123

TS Evangelist
Something doesn't sit right with me when a company goes "this person is no longer affiliated with is, we did nothing wrong now that the person is fired"
All this means in normal words:

We don't train our staff properly and we don't plan to, we just fire them when they screw up.
or
We learned nothing and will continue to not train and watch over our staff because we can just make those people scapegoats by firing them and preserve our "good name"
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
Something doesn't sit right with me when a company goes "this person is no longer affiliated with is, we did nothing wrong now that the person is fired"
All this means in normal words:

We don't train our staff properly and we don't plan to, we just fire them when they screw up.
or
We learned nothing and will continue to not train and watch over our staff because we can just make those people scapegoats by firing them and preserve our "good name"
It at least sends a message that you will lose your job if you do it. So make sure you get lots of really good photos just before you hand in your notice.
 
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Godel

TS Maniac
If you must put intimate photos on your iPhone then it's easy to encrypt them.

Just do an online search for "iPhone encrypt photos" and a bunch of easy options will come up. Even just using the same password as you have on your luggage will be enough to deter most casual snoops.
 
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PEnnn

TS Addict
I didn't know that deleting the photos takes much time on an iPhone. It takes only several seconds on Android phones.
It takes seconds on the IPhone too: there is a Select All button and a trash can. But maybe some people are too stupid to notice.
PS: Unless she wanted to delete specific photos, that takes time no matter what phone.
 
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CPO2U

TS Member
I didn't know that deleting the photos takes much time on an iPhone. It takes only several seconds on Android phones.
The customer had gigs and gigs of self-made porn on her phone. It still takes a while to delete... phone storage tech is fast, but not magic... it still needs to obey the laws of physics.
 

CPO2U

TS Member
Something doesn't sit right with me when a company goes "this person is no longer affiliated with is, we did nothing wrong now that the person is fired"
All this means in normal words:

We don't train our staff properly and we don't plan to, we just fire them when they screw up.
or
We learned nothing and will continue to not train and watch over our staff because we can just make those people scapegoats by firing them and preserve our "good name"
To be fair, you can't train horniness out of young adults (especially women, even though they hide it really well).
 

CharmsD

TS Rookie
Fuentes noted that the picture was taken 12 months ago and was in a library of over 5,000
12*30=36x (something)
5000/365=13.69


Nah!! You going to pour a lotta booze in me to get 13 nood-selfies a day. I'm more concerned with her phone taking fractional pictures than having a (cough) random gawker swipe it, she gave him the phone and password.

Who does that?
 

CharmsD

TS Rookie
Beats me why these women are stupid enough to put "intimate" pictures of themselves on their phones!
Well, its her phone and her camera. I think you know who want's the pictures, it's not used for self-adulation. Someone taking 5000 pictures a year should think about moving them to long-term storage frequently, not keeping them on an easily compromised phone - easily compromised in her case. Fun times! 😡