Apple has reportedly paid millions of dollars to settle a case with a 21-year-old after Apple technicians posted her explicit photos on Facebook. The student had sent her iPhone to Apple for repair purposes.
The incident occurred in 2016 at an Apple service center run by Pegatron, one of the company’s largest contractors. Reportedly, this is one of the biggest privacy violations to have occurred at an Apple repair facility.
While it was being fixed, the two technicians posted “10 photos of her in various stages of undress and a sex video” from her Facebook account, in a way that suggested she had uploaded them herself. The images were only removed after friends informed her that they had been posted.
While the exact amount paid by Apple is not known, it runs into millions of dollars, with the youngster’s lawyer demanding $5m (£3.6m) in negotiations. The settlement happened when Apple and its contactor were threatened with a lawsuit for privacy invasion and causing emotional distress. They also warned the company of “negative media publicity.” As a part of the settlement, a non-disclosure agreement was signed preventing the youngster from talking about the case or revealing the amount she received from Apple.
The incident has come to light due to Pegatron being involved in a dispute with its insurers, who did not reimburse the settlement amount. Pegatron had to reimburse Apple the settlement amount. The documents also show that Apple’s name was kept confidential throughout the lawsuit and was instead referred to as a “customer.” Apple also insisted on a private settlement as the matter going public could “irreparably harm” it and lead to a “substantial business harm.”
After the incident was reported to Apple, it conducted an “exhaustive” investigation. The two individuals who posted the photos and videos on Facebook were fired. An Apple spokesperson issued the following statement on the matter:
We take the privacy and security of our customers’ data extremely seriously and have a number of protocols in place to ensure data is protected throughout the repair process. 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.
Irrespective of the privacy measures that Apple’s service center employs, it is always a good idea to reset your iPhone before giving it for any repair. This also stands true for any third-party repair shops.
[Via The Telegraph]