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Apple has paid a 21-year-old millions of dollars in a legal settlement after photos and videos from the customer's iPhone, sent in for repair, were uploaded to Facebook, leading to "severe emotional distress," according to a new report from The Telegraph.

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The incident occurred in 2016 at a repair facility run by Apple supplier Pegatron in California. The 21-year-old college student sent her iPhone into the repair facility to be fixed after it had stopped working. Legal documents outline that while it was being fixed, technicians posted 10 photos of the Apple customer in "various stages of undress and a sex video."

The exact amount Apple paid to the student was not disclosed. However, the report describes a "multimillion-dollar" settlement, and says that the customer's lawyers specifically requested $5 million during negotiation talks. Her lawyers also threatened to sue Apple for invasion of privacy and "infliction of emotional distress." They had reportedly warned the Cupertino tech giant that a lawsuit would give it negative PR, which possibly made the company more willing to pay the settlement.
Lawyers for the victim had threatened to sue for invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress, and had warned of the "negative media publicity" that would accompany a lawsuit. The settlement included a confidentiality provision that prevented her from discussing the case or revealing the size of the payout.
In a statement given to The Telegraph, Apple said that it takes customers' privacy "extremely seriously," and that it thoroughly investigated the "egregious violation." The company said it took "immediate action" and has since "continued to strengthen our vendor protocols."

Article Link: Apple Agrees to Multimillion-Dollar Settlement After iPhone Repair Technicians Post Customer's Private Photos Online
 
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Wowfunhappy

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2019
1,635
2,003
Wow! Good for her!

I wonder, how did they actually unlock the phone? Maybe it didn’t have a passcode enabled? (To be clear, even if it didn’t, that doesn’t excuse going through her photos, much less sharing them!)
 
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coolbreeze2

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2009
1,790
1,478
I recently sent in an MBP for repair and wondered the whole time it was gone if someone was viewing my private information.

One time in the past I allowed a third party Apple authorized repairer to keep my MBP overnight to repair. They asked me for my sign in password although I had removed the password and disabled Find My.
 

mjturner

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2011
35
26
Godalming, United Kingdom
One time in the past I allowed a third party Apple authorized repairer to keep my MBP overnight to repair. They asked me for my sign in password although I had removed the password and disabled Find My.

I've been asked for login information before but have always refused to divulge it (my machines all have FileVault enabled so raw access to the data is not possible) - it's never been an issue. I was at an Apple Store over the weekend arranging a repair and the Genius I spoke to mentioned that (in the UK at least) Apple have changed their data protection policies to no longer request a password.
 

LV426

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2013
1,856
2,288
I recently sent in an MBP for repair and wondered the whole time it was gone if someone was viewing my private information.

One time in the past I allowed a third party Apple authorized repairer to keep my MBP overnight to repair. They asked me for my sign in password although I had removed the password and disabled Find My.

They tried that with me so they could check out a keyboard repair. I just made sure that the guest account was enabled. No way should anyone give a regular user account login to a technician.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
Wow! Good for her!

I wonder, how did they actually unlock the phone? Maybe it didn’t have a passcode enabled? (To be clear, even if it didn’t, that doesn’t excuse going through her photos, much less sharing them!)
I believe when you submit iPhones for repair, they would ask for your PIN so they can test the phone after the repair. Of course, that's a bad idea, and proper Apple procedure from Apple's own website is for the user to backup and then reset the device first before submitting it for repair. But I'm sure most people don't want that hassle nor have a backup, and would not think twice about giving other people their PIN code, especially if it's to an "authorised Apple repair."
 

insoft.uk

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2018
149
125
Them technicians are going to have a big fine to pay Apple as they now be getting prosecuted by Apple for damages.

I used to repair customers computers and when ever requested to back data like photos I run an bash .sh file that took care of everything so I didn’t have to see anything just know was it successful at backing up the data, at no point should any tech need to look or view any of the backup data.
 
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Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 65816
Jan 28, 2011
1,163
4,048
Edinburgh, UK
When I've had my Mac in for repairs, I've always created a separate account (standard) for them to use as needed. I trust Apple a lot, but I don't trust people enough to not be *******s - especially when it comes to my data.

Absolutely horrendous experience for the girl, nobody deserves that at all. I hope the people who uploaded those photos were appropriately dealt with too, especially if she was a minor at the time.
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 65816
Jan 28, 2011
1,163
4,048
Edinburgh, UK
I believe when you submit iPhones for repair, they would ask for your PIN so they can test the phone after the repair. Of course, that's a bad idea, and proper Apple procedure from Apple's own website is for the user to backup and then reset the device first before submitting it for repair. But I'm sure most people don't want that hassle nor have a backup, and would not think twice about giving other people their PIN code, especially if it's to an "authorised Apple repair."
You can do this in less than an hour now (assuming decent Internet), Apple have really made some amazing progress there. Sadly it was a bit more painful back in 2016, and likely she didn't want that hassle as you suggested.
 
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contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,929
19,067
Mexico City living in Berlin
Wow! Good for her!

I wonder, how did they actually unlock the phone? Maybe it didn’t have a passcode enabled? (To be clear, even if it didn’t, that doesn’t excuse going through her photos, much less sharing them!)
They always told me to remove the Passcode when I gave them my iPhone for repairs. I always made a back up and wiped the device for that reason
 

George Dawes

Suspended
Jul 17, 2014
2,980
4,331
=VH=
Thats disgraceful, ive got lots of screen grabs of digital banking etc on my idevices , id probably just buy a new one and transfer the iCloud backup rather than risk this happening
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
You can do this in less than an hour now (assuming decent Internet), Apple have really made some amazing progress there. Sadly it was a bit more painful back in 2016, and likely she didn't want that hassle as you suggested.
It's still not an excuse for the completely criminal act of the scums uploading those photos.
However, that explains how these technicians can "unlock" the phone.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
Thats disgraceful, ive got lots of screen grabs of digital banking etc on my idevices , id probably just buy a new one and transfer the iCloud backup rather than risk this happening
Whenever you submit an iPhone for repair, Apple always recommend you to backup and reset it to factory first. When the iPhone is in factory reset condition, the technicians have zero reason to ask for your PIN or password (and they shouldn't). iPhones are encrypted, so whenever you reset to factory, there's no way for someone to dig into the storage for your data.
 
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