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Verizon Worker Arrested For Copying Customer's Nude Pictures 282

An anonymous reader writes "El Reg reports that two employees at a Verizon store in Florida are facing charges after making copies of a woman's naked pictures while helping her transfer data from an old phone to a new one. The two employees later offered to show the pictures to another customer, but the customer happened to be the woman's friend. The woman and her friend filed a police report. The police quickly got a warrant to search the store and found copies of the pictures on multiple devices there. One of the employees, Gregory Lampert, was arrested and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. The other employee, Joshua Stuart, is no longer in Florida, but will face charges if he comes back."
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Verizon Worker Arrested For Copying Customer's Nude Pictures

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  • durrrr (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aurashift ( 2037038 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:22PM (#41866063)
    This is stupid and pervy overall, but offering to show it to another CUSTOMER? Can't get much dumber than that.
  • by starblazer ( 49187 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:22PM (#41866071) Homepage

    Where they perchance prior Agents for Geek Squad?

  • Re:durrrr (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:26PM (#41866125)

    There is a reason Fark has a Florida tag.

  • Two Felonies! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:27PM (#41866133)
    Copying customer's pictures to his own device - Wrong on so many levels.

    Unwittingly admitting your crime to the customer's friend and getting himself charged with two felonies - Priceless!

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:27PM (#41866135) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately this has been going on since the early days of personal computers. Take your PC in for repair, and often times the 'techs' would scour your drive ( or floppies ) looking for 'cool stuff'. 'Cool stuff" could be anything from hoping they find porn and be fairly harmless ( since back then it wasn't as 'free' ) or in more current times, far more malicious and they may search for your bank records or something to blackmail you with later..

    Lesson: Trust no one.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:31PM (#41866193) Journal

    Seriously... the Internet has an ocean of nude pictures, and in far higher resolutions than any camera phone could hope to take. You can even get movies in full 1080p of women doing damned near anything and everything you can conceivably think of - be it sexual or not. Nearly any 14-year boy on the planet with Internet access know this!

    In conclusion, we know that these two "techs" at the Verizon store aren't exactly carrying a surplus of clue here... ] what does that say about Verizon's hiring standards for technically-minded people? Seriously?

  • Protect your data (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:47PM (#41866325)

    Stories like this shows up all the time. If it's not nude pictures, then it's the product ID for antivirus or something else. The only thing you really can do about it is to avoid giving access to anybody.

    Personally I had a computer which died and had to be fixed on warranty. I swapped the HD just in case and swapped back when it returned. The real problem is for people without the knowledge on how to do that, which would likely be the case for somebody paying for getting data transferred. Once in a while my family states they wouldn't know what to do if I couldn't fix stuff for them.

    Another issue is why is there nude pictures on the phone in the first place? Stuff you bring around (like phone and camera) could get stolen, which is why you more or less should plan for how to minimize the damage if it's stolen before it's stolen. Also such stuff is often stolen from places where you didn't expect it to be stolen and hence becomes more careless.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:48PM (#41866329) Homepage Journal

    Copying customer's pictures to his own device - Wrong on so many levels.

    I have to disagree on the first part, as often times techs will bring their own hardware to a site and copy all the customers files of in preparation for a reload. "please save my pictures and music" ( or in a business, CAD files, or whatever ) as no one ever backs up...

    A tech should use a company-owned device for that, not a personal device, and treat all backed-up data as confidential.

    However, i dont look thru them, and they are deleted before i leave the site.

    So you follow at least some good practices for confidentiality of customers' data. Customers should insist that this practice be written into the terms of service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:49PM (#41866339)

    Keep accounting or tax records on your computer, or personal files with your information. Then ask some dweeb at a store to copy them over to your new computer???

    I'm sorry, but what in the hell did you expect??

    Well I actually expected them to copy the files over to the new computer and not make a copy of them. You know, behave professionally and all that.

  • by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:56PM (#41866399)

    First of all, what is this idiot doing carrying around nude pictures of herself on her cellphone? A lot of phones get lost or stolen. Nice way to set yourself up for a blackmail attempt. Secondly, don't you think it might be a good idea to get rid of such photos before going in to get a new phone? Those devices that are used to copy data from one phone to do you know that the data isn't copied somewhere other than your new phone? Short don't.

    It just astounds me how careless some people are with cellphones. If you want to keep nudie pics on your phone, fine, but don't be surprised when it falls into the wrong hands. I was at the airport a few weeks ago and some lady sitting across from just gets up and leaves. She leaves her MacBook and iPhone and luggage just sitting on the chair. A few minutes later she comes back with a magazine. Anyone could have just swept in and stole all of it. Then she would have been moaning about being a victim of a crime. She's a victim alright...a victim of her own stupidity.

    This is just a sign of the times, of course. A time when people are no longer held accountable for their own mistakes and misjudgments. Take out a loan that everyone, including you, knows you can't repay? Blame the bank. Drive around with a scalding hot cup of coffee between your legs? Blame McDonalds. Your kid is doing poorly at school? Blame the teacher.

    Heaven forbid that people might actually take accountability for their own actions. If you take your cellphone into the store with nude pictures of yourself on it and some kid working there sees them then you are a fucking moron and deserve to be humiliated. End of story.

  • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:59PM (#41866417)

    Practically speaking there is a reason you only hear about dumb criminals; the mart ones are smart because they don't fucking blab about it.

    I'll see people who rob or steal something then brag on Facebook publicly about it; at that point you might as well turn yourself in.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:12PM (#41866519)

    It's more than just having naked pictures of a woman. It's about having naked pictures of *someone specifically.*

    It's a power thing. Even if you don't intend to wield that power against that person.

  • Re:Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:12PM (#41866525) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I get this is not upstanding behavior. Is it a 'dealing in stolen property' felony? What the heck is an 'offenses against computer users' felony? Misdemeanor theft, yes. But 'handling lewd materials'? That's a crime? It feels like most of the laws are on the books just so the police can hit you with a zillion for anything then drop most of them to appear like the good guys.
    It is a problem with the legal system. It is often difficult to convict based on the exact charge filed. So if they really want to get you convicted on something, they slap you with everything vaguely related and hope something sticks. Unfortunately, with all the millions of laws on the books, everybody is guilty of something. How many people can honestly say they have never went outside on Sunday without a hat on? So basically, anybody can be thrown in jail at any time.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:20PM (#41866597) Homepage Journal
    False analogy. First, most people unlock phones and if you give it to a service person it is under the understanding that they are to help, not steal data.

    Second, as Bruce Schneier argues in his latest book, Liers and Outliers, society functions on the assumption that most people are honest, and so we don't have to waste a lot of time on excessive sucurity. For example, if we extend the coffe shop example, if you don't always have you car in a secured garage with armed patrol, it is your fault if it gets stolen? I think so, based on the example.

    These people got fired because they violated the assumption of trust that Verizon depends on to grow it's business. If I am worried that Vernon reps are primarily there to stea personal data, I will go elsewhere. The fact that the personal data is nude pics is a judgemental viewpoint that has more to do with the confort Jon's own body than the issue at hand.

    Tomorrow I will see all these people in these large building just leaving thier cars in unprotected oparking lots, letting thier children run around without proper supervision, letting the public in with no security. I suppose if something happens it will be thier fault, not the malice of the perpetrators. I would hate to live in the world where one is afraid of everything.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:25PM (#41866649) Journal
    Hi, I was dumb enough to hand the keys to my Mercedes to some 'valet' dude and he wrecked it. Guess its my fault!
  • by yotto ( 590067 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:31PM (#41866711) Homepage

    Not exactly the same.

    "I left naked pictures of myself on the passenger seat when I gave my keys to the valet and he took them" is closer.

  • by Columcille ( 88542 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:37PM (#41866779) Homepage
    The customer wanted the employees to copy data from her phone to her phone. Looking at that data didn't have to happen. Copying pictures from her phone to a personal phone - particularly naked pictures - certainly violated trust and evidently some laws. Going on to redistribute those stolen pictures to other people without the knowledge of the original person pushes it even farther. The part that's nuts in all this is you thinking their actions were okay.
  • Re:Scary Charges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theArtificial ( 613980 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:37PM (#41866781)
    But he isn't acting as an individual, he's a representative of the company, he was paid during this time. This occurred at a company location, with company equipment. There must be protocols for proper use which were not followed so the employee most likely knew better. If the company made and distributed unauthorized copies of data from your phone and even showed other customers, would you be so lenient had this been your wife/girlfriend/daughter/sister/mother? What if it was tax information?

    Let me guess "It's nothing we haven't seen before!"
  • by endinyal ( 2700219 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:47PM (#41866863)
    For many, their cell phone is their only camera. Many don't have the knowledge (or desire) to offload them to a computer and archive it. That alone makes most people not want to do it. With the amount of storage a camera has, the average joe could accumulate a lot of photos without ever having to delete them. Cloud services make the problem even worse (like iCloud) since a photo you take on your camera can be automatically copied to the cloud service, then automatically copied to one's PC resulting in even more ways to steal a pic by stealing a totally different device. It doesn't excuse their responsibility though. If there are photos on one's phone that could be a source of embarrassment, assume that someone could someday get a hold of it.
  • by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:55PM (#41866909)

    I've had bad luck in this department, one company always said they would always provide me with what I needed, but every time I asked for the proper tool, I never got it. This business was of reasonable size, 7 locations across 3 provinces. Total staff was around 55-60 people. One example, I was in need of a new coax compression termination tool, and they kept telling me to use the screw on ends. Their honest reason behind it was that we could cut them off later and reuse if we had to :-/. While they do work, I always had a hard time with them. Risking shorting out equipment was not something I wanted to do.

    Now I run my own business and do my best to separate work from business, but costs wise is tough. A lot of my equipment i owned before i started up, buying a second laptop at this stage in my business is a cosr issue, but on my list of things to sort out before i incorporate. Confidentiality agreements are key here though. I do web design and web app development, so its less of an issue than dealing with their machines directly, qith direct access to their personal information.

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:55PM (#41866915)
    No, he looked through the pictures, took a copy and distributed them.

    They performed a privacy invasion and a copyright infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:02PM (#41866969)

    Someone likes blaming the victim. This sounds very similar to the old "she was asking for it" argument. Women who put sexual pictures of themselves on the phone are asking for it. I mean, we can't certainly can't expect the guys in the store to have enough integrity to not steal her personal pictures.

  • by mister_playboy ( 1474163 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:19PM (#41867111)

    That the "dweeb" at the phone store would (gasp!) behave professionally and not invade a customer's privacy?

    More professional pay might encourage more professional behavior.

    But everything is about racing to the bottom and squeezing blood from turnips these days.

  • The customer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jimshatt ( 1002452 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:36PM (#41867245)
    Funny thing nobody seems to mention. But the customer, the woman's (boy)friend must have taken up on the offer. Otherwise he couldn't have known it was her. Right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:44PM (#41867309)

    It's not a joke, it's as bad as breaking into someone's home. The guy who is out of state should be tracked down and charged for the same crime. Make examples of these miscreants and let the people who smoke dope out. This country has such a fucked up value system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:51PM (#41867353)

    Are you just retarded? While I'm sure nobody would care if naked pics of your fat ass, Cheetos-dick included, were to hit the internet, and I'm sure they would think it to be one hell of a joke, most of us have a little modesty in regards to the public.

    That said, I'm guessing you are guilty of something similar or else you wouldn't take it so lightly...

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Saturday November 03, 2012 @05:23PM (#41867569) Homepage Journal

    Why do you think celebrity sex tapes, even the ones who are not all that hot and where the image is just a grainy out of focus night vision shot that shows you almost nothing, are so popular?

    People seem to like seeing porn, even bad porn, of people they know. Even if they only know them through the TV.

  • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @05:35PM (#41867683)

    Secondly, don't you think it might be a good idea to get rid of such photos before going in to get a new phone?

    How do you know she didn't? Deleting pictures on a phone does very little. There are several completely freeware utilities that will recover those pictures with no problem. A Verizon in-store repairman would certainly know that.

    Flash memory is even more of a problem than one would expect. Since manufacturers know that Flash memory is fallible, they take great care in making sure that the same memory space doesn't get used too many time (on average). Distributing the load on memory usage helps the failure rates stay low. In other words, a picture that you may have taken of yourself one year ago and also deleted that same day one year ago has a high chance of still being on your device to this day (without having been overwritten).

    Now you could use sdcard/hardware/system-wide level encryption, but really, who wants to do that these days except for corporations? It makes your device painfully sluggish on reads/writes and it uses more battery. One other option would be to have a removable sdcard for your media files, but this is not a perfect solution either. I am no security expert, but I would only advise someone to take pictures of themselves naked with their phones only if it wasn't the end of the world for them to have those pictures potentially leak out. Perhaps, some Slashdoters can suggest some better solutions, or some good free apps for that specific problem. This is not a topic that I really know about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @05:48PM (#41867797)
    No matter how many you've seen, you never get tired of seeing new ones
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @06:02PM (#41867901)

    For example at work I'm the Windows support lead, an upper level tech support guy basically. This means I have a domain administrator account, the root account on our UNIX systems, the admin account on our NetApp and so on. In other words: I have full access. There is no system in the building I can't get at everything on it.

    This means they have to trust me, they have to trust that I won't go and rifle through shit I shouldn't. Even if you naively believe that people never do anything personal on work systems, there's still all kinds of work related stuff I need to leave alone.

    And I do, I respect the need for privacy and understand that my access is not synonymous with permission.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @08:06PM (#41868665)

    Feigned outrage aside, if just about every man out there were in the same position they'd do the same (except showing the pics to customers), given the opportunity.

    Anyone who is so weak-willed and untrustworthy that they make copies of a customer's photos doesn't meet my definition of "man".

  • Re:Two Felonies! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikestew ( 1483105 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @09:02PM (#41869077) Homepage

    The worst part though was that his wife was also my boss... must say it was very difficult to take her seriously after that!

    I hate to break it to you but for each individual boss you've had and will ever have, the odds are probably greater than 50% that they have sex. Smaller odds are that it might involve whipped cream, video equipment, or other add-ons. Your reaction to that is your problem, not theirs.

    A better reason for not taking her seriously as a manager is that she's married to the CEO. Nepotism is a much more solid reason than sexual tastes.

  • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyborg_zx ( 893396 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:10PM (#41869477)

    You did the right thing. Calling you a creep and blocking you is merely deflecting her own stupidity outwards so she doesn't have to deal with it.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @12:06AM (#41870049)
    Don't throw a rock at me for saying this, but... At the very least it was a copyright violation.
  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone ( 1844118 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @01:19AM (#41870337)
    And the moral of the story is don't keep nude pics of yourself on your computer, and never, EVER send them to anyone else, because they WILL find their way onto the internet.
  • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @02:03AM (#41870483) Homepage Journal

    When someone accuses you of being a creep after you do a nice thing for them, because they lack the morals to take responsibility for their own embarrassing mistakes and would rather blame the person who helped you out, you are absolutely 100% justified in calling that person whatever you want.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2012 @02:12AM (#41870527)

    It's more than just having naked pictures of a woman. It's about having naked pictures of *someone specifically.*

    It's a power thing. Even if you don't intend to wield that power against that person.

    Ahh, the local AC feminazi speaks, and gets +5 Insightful. Sorry, but you're wrong, it's got nothing to do with having "power". That's a BS idea some man-haters came up with some years back and have been promoting from time to time.
    The real answer is that it's about taboo. It's about seeing what isn't "supposed" to be seen. It's why people find it more exciting to catch a glimpse of the "girl next door" naked than to see a porn star naked. Same thing here.

  • by cavebison ( 1107959 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @03:22PM (#41874005)

    Sorry, but you're wrong, it's got nothing to do with having "power".

    You can't beat one blanket assumption with another blanket assumption. Both are incorrect.

    Yes, it was probably mostly about taboo. But it also becomes about power when you know you can freely invade someone's privacy, and/or control something of "value" that normally would not and should not be under your control. That *part* of it is entirely about power.

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