Australian news site The Courier-Mail reports several male employees at the Carindale Apple Store in Brisbane, Australia were fired on Wednesday for stealing personal photos from customer’s devices, as well as taking photos of customers and female staff without their knowledge, as some sort of weird “rating game.”
The scandal was uncovered when a Carindale Apple Store employee caught a technician looking through a customer’s iPhone.
In the biggest scandal to hit the technology giant in Australia, The Courier-Mail can reveal that more than 100 close-up and explicit photos were taken of female staff and customers without their knowledge and photographs were also lifted from some Apple customers’ phones.
The report indicates the photos were shared among employees at other area stores, and were ranked by the participants on a 10 point scale.
“One person would take a photo and add it to the chat and others would give the person or their butt or their boobs a rating out of 10 and they would add their own side commentary,” one Apple staffer told the Courier-Mail. “Everyone feels uncomfortable and the female staff don’t know how to feel because the leadership won’t tell staff who is involved.”
The company is said to have brought in an HR executive from “overseas” to investigate, and help manage the situation. Apple did confirm the store is under investigation, and confirmed there had been firings.
“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.”
The Courier Mail says four male employees have been let go from the store. Apple on Thursday released a follow-up statement about the situation.
“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. 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.”