An Apple store customer came home. Then she realized what the Genius had done

Apple fires a store employee who allegedly went through a customer's phone, found an intimate image of her, and texted it to himself. It's not a good look for a company that claims privacy as its competitive difference.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Can anything be done?

(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Gloria Fuentes says she was already worried.

She had to take her iPhone in for repair and remembered to delete some apps before she got to the Apple store.

In a Facebook post, she explained: "I kind of had this feeling to delete things from my phone. I deleted any app that had any type of financial information or linked to my bank account in anyway and also all of my social media apps because I didn't want them going through them. I also did a backup before I went and then I was going to delete all the pictures from my phone too but forgot because they were texting me that they moved my appointment time up so I was trying to rush over there. [sic]"

She says she went to the store in Bakersfield, Calif., and, as so many customers do, trusted her iPhone to the so-called Genius.

The Genius took his time. Fuentes said she wasn't worried. She assumed he was just being thorough, even though he asked for her passcode twice.

Then she got home.

She said: "I walk in my house turn on my phone about to text someone and realize there's a message to an unsaved number!!!!! I open it and instantly wanted to cry!!! This guy went through my gallery and sent himself one of my EXTREMELY PERSONAL pictures that I took for my boyfriend and it had my geolocation on so he also knows where I live!!! AND THIS PICTURE WAS FROM ALMOST A YEAR AGO SO HE HAD TO HAVE SCROLLED UP FOR A WHILE TO GET TO THAT PICTURE being that I have over 5,000 pics in my phone!!!! [sic]"

It's something that appears to happen too often. And most (if not all) of the time to women.

Three years ago, Apple fired employees in its Brisbane store for sharing customers' private photos among themselves.

But it's not as if this is only an Apple store issue.

Just a few days ago, a Verizon store employee in Utah was arrested after allegedly texting himself several nude photos from a customer's phone.

In 2012, a Best Buy customer alleged that not only had a repairman copied her intimate photos and made a CD of them. He then, she said, invited her to his house to get it.

For her part, Fuentes alerted Apple.

The company quickly issued a statement to KBAK Bakersfield: "Apple immediately launched an internal investigation and determined that the employee acted far outside the strict privacy guidelines to which we hold all Apple employees. He is no longer associated with our company."

Going to get your gadget repaired requires a level of trust. Customers want to believe that they can hand over their phones without being subjected to prying eyes.

In this case, the big embarrassment for Apple is that it's a company that touts privacy as its competitive difference.

Here was Fuentes trying to take as many precautions as she could and still it wasn't enough.

She now says she's considering legal action, and the Bakersfield Police is investigating.

For gadget users everywhere, there's always the same question: "Whom can you trust?"

The answer, every day, seems to be: "Nobody."

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