Apple says “no evidence” of inappropriate photo transfers at Brisbane store as Privacy Commissioner digs deeper

Australia’s Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim says he will be asking Apple for further information after it was revealed this week that staff at an Apple store in Brisbane may have been lifting photographs from customers’ phones and taking pictures of female staff and customers to share online.

Apple has since told SmartCompany it has not found evidence that of wrongdoing in relation to customer’s data or phones.

“Based on our investigation thus far, we have seen no evidence that customer data or photos were inappropriately transferred or that anyone was photographed by these former employees,” the statement from the company says.

However, Apple did acknowledge that staff members have had their employment terminated at the Carindale store.

“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,” Apple said.

This morning Holding Redlich general counsel Lyn Nicholson told SmartCompany the case would likely spark the interest of the privacy watchdog, who would want to know why the events occurred despite Apple’s privacy policies being in place.

“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,” Commissioner Pilgrim said in a statement.

“Organisations must also take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds.”

Yesterday News Corp reported that Apple had confirmed it was investigating staff at the Carindale store after a staff member noticed a technician looking at the personal photos of a customer.

The Privacy Commissioner has urged any customers who believe their data may have been compromised to contact the commission.

The Apple store in question opened in 2012 as a tenant inside Carindale Shopping Centre, and regularly receives crowds for the launch of new Apple products.

This article was first published on SmartCompany.

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