Apple pays millions after student's explicit photos are posted on Facebook by employees
According to a story by James Titcomb from The Telegraph, Apple's paid millions of dollars in charges after iPhone repair technicians posted a customer's explicit photos and videos on Facebook.
The 2016 story unfolds at a Pegatron facility in Sacramento, California when a 21-year-old student brings her broken iPhone in for a repair. Two technicians at the repair facility take on the task of repairing the damaged phone.
However, they also managed to post "10 photos of her in various stages of undress, and a sex video" directly to her personal Facebook account, which obviously made it look like she had uploaded the imagery herself. She only found out after friends got in touch with her and removed the images from the social media platform.
Five years later, Apple was named the "customer" during a separate lawsuit against the company from Cupertino, confirming the incident to The Telegraph. The size of the settlement isn't clear, but it is referred to as a "multimillion-dollar sum". Reportedly, the lawyers of the victim have negotiated for $5 million.
The charges filed are for invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress, warning Apple of the "negative media publicity" of a lawsuit. According to The Telegraph, the deal read that the student couldn't discuss the case or reveal the size of the payout.
It's important to note that, as mentioned above, Apple was named as a "customer" in the lawsuit, which wasn't even about the same incident. The legal dispute in question was between Pegatron and its suppliers. According to the report, Apple paid for the settlement but was reimbursed by Pegatron.
Apple was under pressure due to the possibility of the scandal going public and causing "substantial business harm". That's why the incident is still rather confidential, and no further details are revealed.
According to the filings, Apple's investigated the incident "exhaustively", and the employees responsible for it were fired. Eventually, the case was dismissed after Pegatron and its insurers settled the case in private.
All of this will be a challenge for Apple's fight to control the "right to repair". Generally, Apple's always been pretty strict about who and how gets to repair their products.
According to The Telegraph, an Apple spokesman's said: "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."