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Privacy gaffe leads to multiple firings at Ohio Apple Store

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Wed April 21, 2010

Backup data makes it onto wrong computer

"Several" workers at the Legacy Village Apple Store in Lyndhurst, Ohio have been fired following an accidental privacy violation, according to a report. Sources note that when a computer is brought in for service by Apple, a standard procedure is used to backup and restore a customer's data; this normally ensures that once a restore is complete, all of the backup data is deleted, preventing leaks of sensitive information. The firings are connected to photos, finances and videos from one customer somehow ending up on another person's Mac.

Sources explain that because the first Mac's backup data was not deleted according to procedure, it was added to the restore for the second, leading to a customer complaint. Subsequent investigation is said to have used surveillance video, which showed that a full 10 workers had not been following the proper backup and restore policy. The people targeted for firing were contacted in person and by phone.

As compensation, both of the Mac owners in the debacle received new Macs, gift cards, and subscriptions to LifeLock, an identify theft protection plan. The sources add however that it is not clear if the affected workers were entirely responsible. It is alleged that they may not have been properly trained for the backup and restore system, which may raise questions about supervisors and store management.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    by phone

    What kind of HR person fires someone by phone? That lack of concern rates right up there with...not following store procedures.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you have 10 employees not following a process properly something tells me either the process is faulty and needs to be redesigned or management screwed up somehow.

  1. browerma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree with cmoney

    I've worked in management positions long enough to know that this type of scenario doesn't "just happen" - at least not on a scale of 10 employees. If it was one, two, or three employees - perhaps. The workers may have been trained properly, but they have certainly not been supervised properly since. I am always impressed with Apple Retail Stores, but it looks like a management shake-up (not an employee firing en masse) is in order at this location.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hope they didn't fire

    I hope they didn't fire the genius at the store...

  1. facebook_Patrick

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2010



    I'd say no thanks to the lifelock subscription, after they've been fined $12 million for running a scam.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i just had to take my laptop in for service and was told point blank that I had to back it up myself before I came because they can't do it for me. Something about it being company policy due to privacy concerns. So if doing it for us is 'standard procedure' why wasn't it done for me. and why did they tell me that they can't do it.

    and this is not the first time or first store that has told me that they can't back up my computer, iphone etc.

    Also, I don't get why they would give the folks brand new computers over this. just seems like overkill. as does firing 10 people over one incident (the one that did it if there's been other problems sure but 9 other unrelated folks????)

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There are really two different issues here. In your case, the Apple Store cannot be responsible for your data - they may take it off to fix your computer and then put it back on, but there's always a chance something can go wrong and some data is lost. That is your responsibility to back it up before bringing it in.

    The other issue is the computer repair - the repair may erase the data, so they back it up temporarily until the repair is complete, and then they restore it. They should erase the backup immediately, so your data is not sitting around somewhere in the Apple Store.

    I would guess that all computer repair shops have a policy that they are not responsible for backing up your data.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    According to the AppleCare agreement...

    the following is not covered:

    "(xii) Damage to, or loss of any software or data residing or recorded in the Covered Equipment. When providing repair or replacement service, Apple will use reasonable efforts to reinstall the Covered Equipmentʼs original software configuration and subsequent update releases, but will not provide any recovery or transfer of software or data contained on the serviced unit not originally included in the Covered Equipment."

    And I've been told this by numerous Apple employees.

    If you haven't got a backup of your data and your sending such data offsite, you might not get it back.

    Backup! Backup! Backup!

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    According to the AppleCare agreement...

    If you haven't got a backup of your data and *****you're***** sending such data offsite, you might not get it back.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ ggirton


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