On Tuesday, November 5, Apple customer Gloria Fuentes shared a horrifying story on Facebook. The post says that she took her phone for a screen repair on November 4. Before that, she made sure to erase sensitive data like banking accounts, social media passwords, and other personal apps. However, due to her appointment being moved up, she was in a rush to get there on time, and forgot to delete her photos as well. Here’s what happened according to her post:
So I go in, I give the guy my phone he’s messing around with it for quite a while and 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. He asked me for my passcode TWICE in that time frame which I, at the time, still didn’t think anything of.
After the phone ‘examination’, she was told to take her device to her phone company and fix her screen there. Fuentes shares that before the appointment she got a strange feeling, which led her to delete things from her phone, just in case. Well, as it turns out her initial concerns were legitimate.
After she got home and turned on her phone, Fuentes noticed a that a message has been sent from her device to an unknown number. The message contained a very private photo, which the Apple employee had sent to himself, she wrote.
I open [the text] and instantly wanted to cry! This guy went through my gallery and sent himself one of my EXTREMELY PERSONAL pictures that I took for my boyfriend and it had my geolocation on so he also knows where I live!
The concerned Apple customer said she went back to the store to speak about the privacy breach with the store’s manager, who only said he would “look into it”. According to Fuentez, when she confronted the employee, he admitted the unknown number was his, but also claimed that he “doesn’t know how that pic got sent”.
The Washington Post shared that in an emailed statement, Apple told the following:
“We are grateful to the customer for bringing this deeply concerning situation to our attention. 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.”
Gloria Fuentez vowed to press charges against the employee in question. She also wrote:
I’m sharing this because iPhones are like a must have for teens now and I could just imagine that I’m not the only person he’s done this to and what if he’s done this to someone’s teenager daughter or even any other woman at all!! I have no idea if he sent more than the picture that he forgot to delete and I have NO CLUE WTH HE’S GOING TO DO WITH THEM!!!
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. A recent case is of a 24-year-old Verizon store employee, who got arrested on suspicion of a third-degree felony, after doing the very same thing – texting himself “several nude photos” from a customer’s phone. According to a report by ABC4, the victim was there to upgrade her iPhone 5 to an iPhone 8. The incident happened last month, in Park City, Utah.