Sprint Employee Posts Woman's Sexy Photos Online, Earns Scumbag Of The Year Award
Talk about a technological nightmare: Sprint is currently in the process of getting the pants sued off of them by a woman in Los Angeles. After the woman traded in her old cell phone, a Sprint employee accessed her sexy photos and posted them to her Facebook page via the phone's app. And the Scumbag Award of the Year goes to…
According to the woman, who is identified only as J. Johnson, she traded in her HTC Evo at the Melrose Avenue Sprint location in April of last year. She had over 5,000 photos on the phone; a worker told her that the phone would be wiped before it was sent off to wherever cell phones go when they die (or, y’know, to be refurbished). Among those 5,000 photos were the two compromising images, which Johnson had apparently forgotten about – until a month later, when a friend called her to tell her that the sexy photos had suddenly appeared on her Facebook page.
Sprint told Johnson that the phone had indeed been sent to a plant in Louisville to be refurbished; the lawsuit alleges that while the phone was at the plant, an as-yet-unidentified Sprint employee got a hold of the phone, found the photos, and posted them to Facebook using the Facebook app installed on the phone. Johnson also needs some new friends, because among the people who commented on the photos, one dude said that he had downloaded them and that he was planning on keeping them. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right?
Says Johnson’s lawyer, S. Mohammad Kazerouni, “It was very embarrassing, shocking, and traumatizing. I think it’s disgusting. I can’t fathom why someone would want to put up intimate pictures of someone they’ve never met on their Facebook page.” True. That. Seriously: Who does that? I’m all for maintaining the freedom of the Internet, but how do we account for people who use the anonymity afforded by it for ill? It’s the same issue that plagues online bullying — the distance the Internet gives its users also divorces them from the fact that actions have consequences. Ugh.
Sprint, for their part, appears to responding fairly well; says spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge Walsh, “Protecting customer privacy is of the utmost importance to Sprint. We take these matters very seriously. We intend to fully investigate this matter.”
In the meantime, there’s also a lesson to be learned here: Wipe your old phone and reset it to the factory default before you give it to anyone. Anyone — even your BFF who you’ve known since you were five and who would never do anything to hurt you, ever. Besides the whole naughty photo issue, it also leaves all of your login info for any apps you have out there for anyone to nab: Your email, Facebook, Twitter, your bank account if you use your bank’s app… Stuff you really want to keep under lock and key. You never know where it might end up. Better safe than sorry, no?