The thing about private photos is that they’re supposed to be just that: private. But a couple in Texas says not only did a car dealership employee swipe intimate photos from one of their phones, he then emailed them to a site for swingers.
The couple says they’d been in the process of buying a car from the Toyota dealership two years ago, when the salesperson asked to see an app the husband had downloaded on his phone for pre-approved financing, CBS Dallas Fort-Worth reports (warning: link contains autoplay video).
Their attorney said the salesperson told the couple he’d have to show the phone to his manager to get financing approved, and was out of sight for five minutes. In that time, they allege that the sales director found two photos of the woman stepping into and out of a bath, and emailed them to himself and a site popular with couples who want to date other couples. The husband figured out what had happened by using an app that tracks deleted emails.
“I never imagined that anyone else would see it,” his wife said of the photos.
They claim that the dealership denied the sales director worked there, and that they never received a response to their complaints. They’ve filed a civil lawsuit, and the employee is also facing criminal charges for breach of computer security.
“I feel that my privacy and dignity were taken away,” the woman said. “I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Toyota North America declined to comment to CBS-DFW on the allegations, but noted that the dealership in question is an independently owned dealership, and as such, “does not own, operate or manage” the business, and “does not hire, fire or direct the day-to-day activities of the dealership’s personnel; and it is not involved in matters concerning employees of independent dealers. “
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of people taking advantage of customers to gain access to private photos stored on their phones, but usually, such thefts involve phone experts hired to fix or set up devices.
Back in 2007, Consumerist’s three-month sting operation caught a Geek Squad technician — on video — stealing porn from our hard drive. That investigation was initiated after complaints by current and former Geek Squad techies, as compiled in the 10-page Geek Squad confession, “Stealing Customers’ Nudie Pics Was An Easter Egg Hunt.”
More recently, in October, Apple fired several Apple Store employees in Australia accused of stealing photos from female customers’ iPhones, but said there was no evidence any such theft occurred.
And then last year, a Radio Shack employee was charged with allegedly stealing racy personal photos off a customer’s cellphone.