Best Buy's Geek Squad Scours Stores In Person For Stolen Porn N' Stuff

In addition to having Best Buy Geeks Squad locations hook up store computers to headquarters to check for porn and music stolen from customer’s computers, and pirated software, they’re also sending “audit teams” to investigate hard-drives at the stores in-person, reports an insider.

Geek Squad has also enacted a new “Open and Honest” policy, encouraging Geeks to step forward and report on employees found violating customer’s privacy and such, along with a special email address and phone number for anonymously reporting concerns. Furthermore, the use of personal flash drives has been strictly forbidden.

Says the tipster, “I’m guessing this is due to the recent outbreaks of Geek Squad privacy issues.”

(Photo: Maulleigh)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. darkclawsofchaos says:

    Ratting out coworkers when you are a small group and work together is hard. Everyone will know the rat and not trust him, not many are willing to risk that

  2. RandomITGuy says:

    I’m suprised this post isn’t bigger – I’d expect a “Consumerist forces Geek Squad to take data privacy seriously” celebratory post at a minimum.

    Glad to see they actually took this seriously, and hope that they have plans to keep this up in the future.

  3. endless says:

    from what i have heard is that the agents no longer have unrestricted access to their flash drives, they keep them at a certain location not in the precinct and have to check them out and back in.

    so i guess they are at least trying to make it harder to steal pr0n

  4. nctrnlboy says:

    @endless:

    What’s to keep them from using their own personal flash drives?

    And I hope these geek-squad investigation units bust in like gustapo agents because geek squad guys are already going to have precautions taken (hidden HD mounted under a workdesk…etc.etc.). Remember… these guys are EXPERTS a combing customers’ computers for porn… you dont think they can find ways of hiding their stolen porn/mp3s/pirated software from investigators? Geek squads are also going to warn other best buy stores that investigators are in the area… so there will be plenty of time to prepare. lol! WHen I was a security guard we would all warn other posts that a supervisor was in the area checking up on the guards… so we were ready when he came & there were no real suprise inspections. Geek squaders will do the same.

  5. Lordstrom says:

    Geek Squad members aren’t experts at anything except pretending to be experts.

  6. nctrnlboy says:

    @lorddave:

    Well… they seem to be when it comes to finding porn of customers’ computers. I remember a quote somewhere by a geeksquader that it was like an easteregg hunt to find all the hidden porn on customers’ computers.

    They may not be experts at their job, but when it comes to finding porn…..

  7. thepounder says:

    @nctrnlboy: Sweet… maybe the “GeekStapo”, or “Geek Gestapo”… much like COL Klink’s nemesis MAJ Hochstetter always trying to bust him.
    But I doubt Geek Squad folks are nearly as adept at hiding their nefarious doings as COL Hogan and the gang were at hiding stuff all over Stalag 13.

    I hope they get trounced for porn thievin’.

  8. EdwardLund says:

    Let’s all hate on Best Buy & Geek Squad! Would have liked to see a headline that at least acknowledged that they’re genuinely trying to address the problem. I’d never hand over my computer to them, but what more do any of you expect them to do??? Either it’s the “systemic” problem Ben makes it out to be, or it’s the few rogue agents they’d like you to believe. No matter, let’s have you wannabe CEOs give some alternative solutions before you hand out lame sarcastic responses.

  9. calldrdave says:

    Of course none of this addresses them going into non-technical people’s homes and doing all this stuff. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop…the fact they know all the wireless access passwords. How hard would it be for them to set up a share, record the WPA password and surf to their “lower” heart’s content?

  10. XTC46 says:

    @ CALLDRDAVE

    1. Setting up a share for this would be a huge waste of time as about 80% of wireless networks are NOT secured to begin with (Ive don’t research and have mapped out THOUSANDS of access points in my area)


    2. Of the ones that are secure, most use WEP not WPA, and a WEP key can be cracked in under 2 minutes in an ideal situation, but in about 15 minutes otherwise.


    Part of what I do is auditing computer equipment if someone is suspected of “inappropriate use of company time/equipment” and its really easy to prove what most are doing on a computer. but doing big sweeps like this is hard because audits are time consuming, the target is huge (every computer in a tech shop) and evidence can be moved/removed quickly. so most of this is just for show. Basically to scare off the techs who don’t know any better. A real audit takes hours per computer to be thorough, and thats a lot of time and money for a company best buy’s size.

  11. Consumer-X says:

    I’m sure out of all that porn they steal from customers, some of it has to be of an illegal nature. Maybe a few well publicized arrests of Geek Squad members for possession of child porn would temper their enthusiasm for dirty pictures.

  12. arachnophilia says:

    the real question. is geeksquad bright enough to not get caught?

  13. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I wouldn’t have thought that worstbuy (Geek Squad is pretty much gone, folks, just the name is still with us) couldn’t put together an ‘audit team’ with enough abilities or intelligence to FIND any hard drives, let alone pr0n.
    Most of these folks couldn’t find their ass with both hands and a map.

  14. hop says:

    BEST BUY SUCKETH

  15. ncboxer says:

    I think even a limited knowledge geek squader would be able to find whatever type of files on the computer with no problems. It does not take an expert to search a computer- it might take more of an expert to actually fix a computer, which is why they outsource that part. I mean how hard is it to go to the Search feature of a computer and search for files matching *.avi, *.jpg, *.gif, etc?

  16. Sounds like the corporate headquarters are upset they missed out on all the porn.

  17. Steel_Pelican says:

    USELESS. They’ll just have to be more careful about how they hide their stuff. The only way they’ll be able to cut down on this stuff is to have “secret shoppers” who bring in computers loaded with tempting data and a recording program to catch snooping- exactly like the Consumerist did. Have a widespread program (e.g. every store gets hit at least once/week), and you’ll see a big reduction in privacy violations.

  18. joeblevins says:

    So they are sending out Geek Squad to round up all the porn to put on a central server for all to have access to. Right? We need to see the stats on what kind of porn is popping up. Horsey? Doggy?

  19. Qwiegybow says:

    Tis true, we just had district come to our precinct and do a manual check. They found a few things, nothing serious. We had to copy a cd once and since best buy wont give us a nero or roxio license, I downloaded DVD Decrypter just to make a LEGAL backup. They told us to format our computers since this tool is a not on the list of pre-approved Geek Squad tools.

    We also had to take down our wireless network as well as it was unsecured as well. Even though it helped us fix computers and show customers how to use wireless internet.

    So much for trying to help customers…

  20. @darkclawsofchaos: How do you figure? If we were a team of say… 6-10 people whom do something against new Geek Squad policy, one of us runs down to the payphone and calls the anonymous tipline, and the offending person gets “disciplined”, Do you REALLY think they’re going to figure EXACTLY whom it was who tipped them off? Let’s be realistic, EVERYONE will be denying it (such is the purpose of anonymity) so just exactly how would they figure out such?

    @Qwiegybow: Reformatting is taking it to far. Why didn’t they just ask you to do a simple uninstall? Also, I noticed some precints still have their own wireless networks up. I took my laptop into a BBY looking for some new RAM, pulled it out, and was on a Wide open SSID by the name of “GeekSquad”, which ironically, turned out to be a WRT54G in the GeekSquad area. Even funnier, it still had the default administrative password.

  21. Neritha says:

    Honestly, their best weapon is paranoia at the moment. So far, it’s been an insane inconvenience to have to rebuild our two computers from the ground up, twice. By basically driving us up the wall, and potentially holding people up to the flame, I’ve decided it’s not worth bothering to bring in outside tools to work. I’ve never taken anything that didn’t belong to me from a customer, but I’ve used stuff that didn’t belong to me, and I’m not interested in rebuilding our PC over and over again just to add an extra sale every pay period to our NOP. I’m just turning people with special needs away.

    Honestly, it’s better that way – I keep my hands clean and Geek Squad pays the price, and it would be hard to fire me for being ethical.

    As for flash drives, I don’t bring one to work anymore. They’ve been banned in our precinct. It’s a massive inconvenience, but I’d rather not have to fight for my personal privacy if somebody wanted to scan my flash stick.