Brisbane Apple store photo sharing scandal: Employees rating female customers' bodies

By Debra Killalea

Apple confirmed it had fired staff from the Westfield Carindale store after discovering the picture sharing scandal. Photo / AP
Apple confirmed it had fired staff from the Westfield Carindale store after discovering the picture sharing scandal. Photo / AP

Staff at a Brisbane Apple store have been fired after they were caught stealing and rating customers' pictures as part of a photo-sharing ring.

Dozens of photos were taken of female staff and customers while others were lifted from some Apple customers' phones, it has emerged.

The issue came to light after a staff member at the Carindale store noticed a technician looking through a customer's phone in the repair room, The Courier-Mail reported.

One Apple staff member told the paper they were concerned the "disgusting" practice was occurring at other stores.

As part of the disturbing ring, photos of both customers and staff were taken without their knowledge and their bodies were ranked out of 10.

Technology commentator and expert Trevor Long told Today the photo-sharing ring was a massive breach of privacy on more than one level.

"The taking photos of people, whether employees or customers with mobile phones, is one thing, and that could be happening anywhere," he said.

"If they are looking at photos on your phone or even taking copies of those, that is a breach of privacy.

"You are handing your phone for them to fix it or repair it. You don't expect that to be happening."

Mr Long said it paid to err on the side of caution when handing over your personal data to anyone.

"In the end, you are handing over your phone, password and everything to fix the phone," he said.

"I would be very cautious about what you put on that phone wherever you hand it over to, just in the same way you are careful how much cash is in your car when you go to a car wash.

"You have to take what is on your phone seriously."

In a statement to The Courier-Mail, Apple confirmed the Carindale store was under investigation and staff had been fired.

"Apple believe in treating everyone equally and with respect, and we do not ­tolerate behaviour that goes against our values," the statement read.

"We are investigating a ­violation of Apple's business conduct policy at our store in Carindale, where several employees have already been terminated as a result of our findings."

A spokeswoman for Queensland Police told news.com.au she was aware of media reports surrounding the store but an investigation has not yet been launched.

News.com.au has reached out to Apple for additional comment about the incident.

- news.com.au

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