Apple investigation of employee-led photo sharing ring finds no purloined customer data

By Mike Wuerthele

Apple's investigation of allegations levied against employees at an Australian Apple store has determined that no customer data had been stolen, but the employees said to be at the center of the photo-stealing ring aren't off the hook for other misdeeds.

"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. "We have seen no evidence that customer data or photos were inappropriately transferred or that anyone was photographed by these former employees."

The company's comment stops short of saying that the fired employees were blameless of all the accusations levied against them, however -- just that they hadn't taken customer data.

The fired workers workers allegedly took over 100 "close-up and explicit" photos on their own, and distributed the images to other Apple Stores in Queensland, reports claimed on Wednesday.

"One person would take a photo and add it to the chat and others would give the person or their butt or their boobs a rating out of 10 and they would add their own side commentary," an Apple staffer from the Carindale Apple Store in Brisbane said on Wednesday. "Everyone feels uncomfortable and the female staff don't know how to feel because the leadership won't tell staff who is involved."

Queensland police are requesting that members of the Apple Store staff, or customers who believe their privacy has been violated to file a report. No charges have been filed, as of yet.