A woman has claimed that staff at a Samsung store looked through her phone and viewed her ‘very private’ photographs and messages after she took her handset in to get the screen repaired.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jo Tiffin-Lavers from Bromley told the Croydon Advertiser her ‘stomach dropped’ when she went to collect her phone and found ‘proof’ the photos and messages had been looked at.
She said she dropped the phone into the Samsung Repair Centre in Centrale shopping centre in Croydon to have her screen repaired at a cost of £260.
She says that staff at the store asked her to disable the phone’s lock-code while they repaired it, which she did.
Once the phone was fixed, Jo collected it from the store but says that the ‘private’ photos and WhatsApp messages between her and her fiancé had been looked at by employees from Samsung.
“I dropped my phone off and paid at around 2:50 pm, they gave me back my SD card and SIM card and had me unlock my phone.
“I went and picked it around 5:15 pm after they’d emailed me. I only had an old iPhone with me with no SIM to tell me the time and check my email.
“Got home that evening and looked at my gallery. About 12 very private pictures were in my gallery with that day’s date and time stamped at 15:49. I checked and they’d been uploaded to my cloud, whether accidentally or not I don’t know.”
She says that her phone contained loads of photos – including ones of her pet and her partner – but that only the ‘private’ images had been looked at.
“I told my other half and he checked a WhatsApp message he’d sent me just before I handed my phone over, that I hadn’t read and it had a read receipt of 3:28 pm.
“I then checked my Google activity and it logged access to my Instagram account on my Samsung phone at 4:18 pm and WhatsApp at 4.33pm.”
Jo says she was devastated after realising her private pictures had been looked at by a stranger and says she was ‘up the entire night crying’.
She says the store has offered her a refund as ‘goodwill gesture‘, but have failed to offer an apology. However, she says Samsung has been in touch.