Apple paid woman millions after technicians used her iPhone to post explicit videos

Apple has paid a multi-million dollar settlement to an Oregon woman after iPhone repair technicians uploaded explicit images and videos to the internet from a phone that she sent in for repair.

a hand holding a remote control: Photograph: Kiichiro Sato/AP

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Kiichiro Sato/AP

Legal filings, first reported on by the Telegraph, revealed the unnamed woman sent her iPhone for repair on 14 January 2016 to an Apple-approved repair contractor called Pegatron Technology Service in California. Technicians there then uploaded “extremely personal and private material” to the woman’s Facebook account and other internet locations, the documents said.

The videos were uploaded to appear as though the woman herself had shared them on purpose, according to the documents, causing the woman “severe emotional distress”. The woman was made aware of the incident when friends saw the videos and images on Facebook.

The woman sued Apple and eventually settled with the company for a multi-million dollar sum. But Apple was never directly named in the lawsuit in an effort to keep the matter confidential.

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The incident only became public when attorneys in a newer, unrelated case involving Apple and Pegatron referenced the previous case in their legal filings, saying the customer named was “clearly Apple”.

Apple confirmed the incident in a statement to the Guardian on Monday. The woman’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

“We take the privacy and security of our customers’ data extremely seriously and have a number of protocols in place to ensure data is protected throughout the repair process,” an Apple spokesperson said.

“When we learned of this egregious violation of our policies at one of our vendors in 2016, we took immediate action and have since continued to strengthen our vendor protocols,” the spokesperson added.

This is not the first incident in which a technician has been accused of stealing and…