Last October, an Apple Store in Brisbane, Australia terminated some of its employees after they were accused of searching customers' devices for sexually explicit selfies and sharing them with colleagues, rating them on a scale of 1-10.
The employees were also accused of covertly photographing female customers and co-workers, including "upskirt" photos.
Though Apple fired the employees, it denied that they engaged in these activities. The Australian privacy commissioner is investigating the allegations.
The privacy invasions were possible, in part, because Apple has a policy of requiring customers to unlock their phones when putting them in for service (this is common among many kinds of device repair services, and unquestionably makes repair and testing simpler). This works fine, but fails badly: all it takes is one unethical technician to make the whole thing go very badly indeed. Alternatives to this would include asking customers to back up their devices to Apple's cloud servers (which are accessible to fewer, better-vetted technicians) and wipe them -- even better would be to use end-to-end encryption in cloud backups, so that customers' data would be private except in the case of bad passwords, malware, or defects in the software.
"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," he said.
"Organisations must also take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure."
Apple Store photo ring scandal in Brisbane: Privacy commissioner weighs in
(via Naked Capitalism)
Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer -- a hardliner who has called for cameras at every "hot spot" in Germany -- has announced that he will seek a ban on working cryptography in Germany; he will insist that companies only supply insecure tools that have a backdoor that will allow the German state to decrypt messages […]
Hackers have breached Perceptics, which sells border security technology and license plate reader systems and the like to governments and other entities. The U.S. government uses their readers, including along the US-Mexico border.
From 6PM-730PM tonight (Thursday, May 23), I'm presenting at the Exposition Park Library (Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library, 3900 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90062) on the problems of Big Tech and how the problems of monopolization (in tech and every other industry) is supercharged by the commercial surveillance industry -- and what […]
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