Apple has reportedly paid out millions of dollars in compensation to a woman for a traumatic experience in which personal explicit media on her iPhone was uploaded to her Facebook account during a routine device repair, The Telegraph reports.
The incident took place in June 2016 at an authorized Apple repair shop in California, operated by Apple manufacturer Pegatron. In a statement, Apple said that when it “learned of this egregious violation of our policies … [it] took immediate action and [has since continued to strengthen [its] vendor protocols.”
According to the report, the victim handed over her device for repairs. On the device were multiple images and at least one video. The two technicians then proceed to post “10 photos of her in various stages of undress and a sex video” to her Facebook page. This was done in a way that made it look like she had uploaded the material herself. It was only deleted after some of her friends let her know that it was appearing on her Facebook page.
The technicians were, understandably, fired from their jobs. It’s not clear whether there will be any criminal proceedings resulting from this. But it’s hard to imagine a bigger violation of privacy.
It’s also a reminder of why it’s a good idea to restore devices to factory settings. Wherever possible, this should be done prior to sending them in for repairs. Obviously, customers shouldn’t have to do this to avoid something like this from happening. But it will ensure that it doesn’t, even if your handset falls into the wrong hands.