Staff members prepare for the Australian launch of the iPad inside Apple’s flagship store in Sydney
Apple has fired a number of employees at a store in Brisbane, Australia, amid allegations they shared photos of female customers and colleagues and ranked their bodies out of 10.
Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, said dozens of photos were taken without knowledge or consent and that other images were stolen from customer phones.
Apple confirmed an inquiry and said “several” jobs had been terminated.
But it said its inquiry had so far not shown that any photos had been stolen.
No-one had been photographed without consent, the inquiry had indicated.
The photos – including more than 100 close-up and intimate images according to the Courier-Mail – were said to have been shared and the women’s bodies then rated.
The newspaper said the possible privacy breach came to light after a fellow employee noticed a store technician looking through a customer’s phone in the repair room.
One staff member told the newspaper they were concerned the same thing was happening in other Australian Apple stores, including in Sydney.
Apple said the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of the company’s business conduct policy.
“Apple believe in treating everyone equally and with respect, and we do not tolerate behaviour that goes against our values,” it said in a statement.
“We have met with our store team to let them know about the investigation and inform them about the steps Apple is taking to protect their privacy.”
The Australian Privacy Commissioner is also looking into the alleged privacy breach.
“We are aware of the reports and will be making enquiries with Apple to seek further information,” said commissioner Timothy Pilgrim.
“This is an important reminder that all organisations that collect and manage personal information need to embed a culture of privacy and ensure employees understand their responsibilities.”
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