Apple denies fired staff stole images from customer iPhones

13 Oct 2016

Apple Store. Image: Sorbis/Shutterstock

Reports of Apple Store staff taking images of female customers have been denied by the tech giant, though several people have been fired for violating company policy.

Apple has released a statement denying its staff had taken images of female customers and colleagues, as well as stolen images from customers’ iPhones in Australian Apple stores, following reports of several staff members getting fired in Carindale.

Local news source The Courier-Mail had earlier reported that some employees had engaged in the practice, though the company has now said that is not true.

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Apple had originally stated “several” staff members were let go for violating company policy, though exactly what the former employees did is as yet unclear.

“Based on our investigation thus far, we have seen no evidence that customer data or photos were inappropriately transferred, or that anyone was photographed by these former employees,” the company said.

“We have met with our store team to let them know about the investigation and inform them about the steps Apple is taking to protect their privacy.”

According to The Guardian, a human resources executive was flown into Australia by Apple to help deal with the mess.

Timothy Pilgrim, the privacy commissioner in Australia, released a statement on the original allegations, asking for more information from the company.

“This is an important reminder that all organisations that collect and manage personal information need to embed a culture of privacy and ensure employees understand their responsibilities,” he said.

“Organisations must also take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.”

Apple Store. Image: Sorbis/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic