Recently exposed court documents might make you think twice about taking your broken device to Apple. An Oregon student had her explicit photos and a video leaked after she left her iPhone for a repair at an official Apple service facility.
The culprits were two workers at a repair center by Pegatron Technology Service, one of Apple’s larger contractors. The two men shared the files on the victim’s Facebook page, impersonating her.
The lawsuit in question requested $5 million in damages from Apple. The matter was settled out of court, so the exact details are unknown.
It is not the first incident of this kind for the company. Back in late 2019, a Genius Bar employee made a not-so-genius decision to text himself an explicit photo from a customer’s phone while doing a screen replacement.
Such events pose serious questions about Apple’s dedication to privacy.
On the one hand, the company is implementing significant improvements, such as the option to block ad tracking and bundling a VPN with its cloud storage deals. But on the other hand, continual failures to enforce its own policies raise more than a few eyebrows.
The revelation might also seriously hinder Apple’s efforts against the Right to Repair movement. The company is fighting hard not to give independent repair shops the parts and schematics needed to fix its devices.
One of the main arguments is that Apple vets and background checks its affiliates, which protects users from anyone who would compromise their privacy.
However, with privacy violations stacking up on Apple’s side, this argument stands on shaky legs.
So, what should people do to protect their privacy if their phone breaks? Photo security apps, which are available in the App Store, are always an option. Backing up important files to the cloud so that they are not stored on the phone is also a good idea.