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Apple: 'No evidence' of photo theft from phones left with store

After "several employees" were terminated over an Apple Store incident in Australia, Apple says no customer data or photos were transferred inappropriately.

An Apple retail store.
Ariel Nunez/CNET

Apple has investigated the alleged theft of photos from female customers' phones at an Australian Apple Store and stated it found no evidence data was transferred inappropriately.

The Australia-based Courier Mail reported this week that employees at an Apple Store in Queensland, Australia, had been fired after they were discovered sharing photos of female customers and employees.

Staff at the store, located in Brisbane's Carindale Westfield shopping centre, were reportedly taking photos of female customers and employees, as well as raiding them from phones customers left there for repairs.

A worker at the store flagged the issue after discovering one of the alleged perpetrators scrolling through a customer's phone, according to the publication. The original report suggested photos were allegedly part of a sharing ring, with the subject of each shared photo being rated on appearance on a 1 to 10 scale.

"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," Apple said in a statement.

The company added that based on its investigation, "we have seen no evidence that customer data or photos were inappropriately transferred or that anyone was photographed by these former employees."

First published on October 13, 2:51 p.m. AEDT/October 12, 8:51 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:24 p.m. AEDT/9:24 p.m. PT: Statement added from Apple that its investigation found no evidence of inappropriate data transfers.