The Carindale Apple Store in Queensland has hit their first major privacy breach scandal, after reports emerge of staff taking, stealing and sharing intimate photos of customers and fellow employees.
The Courier Mail has exclusively reported that four male employees had been taking close-up and/or explicit photos of female staff and customers, and had also lifted intimate photos from female customers’ phones.
All of the photos were then shared with staff members at other Queensland stores, and it’s thought a store in Sydney is also involved.
Photos would allegedly be shared to a group chat where the people involved would give ratings out of 10 and add objectifying commentary regarding the woman’s body.
The four staff members involved have now been fired.
However, an anonymous female staff member spoke to the Courier Mail about what the men had been doing:
“They’ve been taking pictures of them (customers) in store, taking pics off their phones and taking pictures of female staff members.
One person would take a photo and add it to the chat and others would give the person or their butt or their boobs a rating out of 10 and they would add their own side commentary.”
The staff member said that Apple leadership had refused to answer any questions for staff members, including who they were. (Stores work on rotating rosters, so it wouldn’t be obvious to staff who was missing.)
“Everyone feels uncomfortable and the female staff don’t know how to feel because the leadership won’t tell staff who is involved.Denying the girls the right to know what has gone on is hiding the guys away from the full brunt of the consequences.They were fired, but what about the people they did it to … what about the customers?”
This is probably the biggest scandal to hit Apple in Australia; while illegal theft and photo-sharing stories like this (which are violation of women’s privacy and should be viewed as online sex crimes) seem reasonably common in IT circles, it’s a first for the popular tech giant.
While customers have not been informed of the privacy breach, Apple have released a statement confirming that the men had been fired, and investigation into the Carindale store is currently going ahead.
There is no word on whether Apple have taken the issue to the police or not.
We will update this story as information arises.
Source: Courier Mail.
Photo: Twitter / @darylh.