Get your smartphone's screen fixed, and have your nude selfies stolen while you wait

Cracked iPhone screenJust about everybody reading this has probably had that gut-wrenching experience of having a smartphone tumble from their hands, and smack down *hard* against the floor.

If you're lucky, your iPhone or Android isn't completely busted, but you may have to get its cracked screen repaired.

So, what do you do?

Well, if you're like one woman in Marin County, California, you drive down to your local RadioShack and ask them to fix the glass screen for you.

But you should be on your guard.

Because, according to media reports, 24-year-old Jose Robert Miranda, who until recently was employed by RadioShack, appeared in Marin County Superior Court on Monday morning, under suspicion of theft and copying computer data.

RadioShack

And what data is Miranda alleged to have pinched?

17 "extremely revealing, nude and nearly nude" pictures that the legitimate owner of the phone had taken of herself.

According to her attorney, Timothy Osborn, the woman had visited RadioShack to get her phone's screen fixed on November 16th last year.

It was only on January 8th this year that she discovered the 17 compromising selfies had been sent via text message from her phone to a number she didn't recognise.

According to Osborn, the text messages were sent while the phone was at RadioShack:

"Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined that RadioShack would have done something like this," Osborn said. "It was a simple repair, and it’s just totally outrageous."

The woman is now suing Miranda and his former employer RadioShack for trespassing, concealment, negligence, appropriation of name and likeness, alongside other counts.

Miranda has not entered a plea, and is currently out on bail. RadioShack says it takes the accusations against its former worker seriously, and is working closely with the authorities.

Remember folks - when you hand your phone to someone to let them fix it, you're putting your trust (as well as your smartphone) into their hands. If all you've asked them to do is mend a cracked screen, there's no need for them to have access to your files.

If at all possible, ensure your phone is protected with at least strong pass phrase if you're not able to remove any nudie selfies that you may have lurking within.

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7 Responses

  1. Jim

    February 4, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    What an exceptionally stupid guy. There are far less obvious ways of taking images from an unlocked phone than sending them by text message!

    • Coyote in reply to Jim.

      February 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      But it works out, doesn't it? That people like this are one of their worst enemies and they are – if you will excuse the pun – none the wiser … Of course, wisdom wouldn't mix with someone like him but that is besides the point. In any case, the only other people they have to worry about are those who have been wronged (and discover it) and have enough experience/knowledge/whatever (any number of things that apply, perhaps mostly capability) to make them – if not regret morally/ethically (which indeed is unlikely they do) – regret they did what they did (even if only that they were caught, that being the most likely). So while what he did was bad (bad isn't really how I would word it, though; it is worse than that and more specific and unfortunately in, well, bad ?, ways), it is equally good that he was not all that careful about it.

    • Ari Gant in reply to Jim.

      February 5, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

      True enough. But what an exceptionally stupid gal –

      “Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined that RadioShack would have done something like this,” Osborn said. “It was a simple repair, and it’s just totally outrageous.”

      Really? What did she think was going to happen? But then again, how many Facebook profiles are without the slightest privacy settings, but the user is outraged that someone looked at their page. There are 1 BILLION users on Facebook.

      • Coyote in reply to Ari Gant.

        February 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

        s/stupid/ignorant

        No, not stupid. Definitely ignorant though. And unaware. And assuming the best in everyone (something that is dangerous with this type of thing). The way she is wanting to sue the store (too; it wasn't Radioshack that did it, it was – keyword WAS – an employee! If this was the case then most every corporation would be a rogue corporation because few if any corporations have 100% fully honest/decent employees) makes me think she will still fall for this type of thing, which is sad and ironic indeed.

  2. Coyote

    February 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    "Because, according to media reports, 24-year-old Jose Robert Miranda, who until recently was employed by RadioShack, appeared in Marin County Superior Court on Monday morning, under suspicion of theft and copying computer data."

    I bet Jose is quite impressed that days after the court visit, Radioshack has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…

    "The woman is now suing Miranda and his former employer RadioShack for trespassing, concealment, negligence, appropriation of name and likeness, alongside other counts."

    I don't think any corporation can be innocent here; it happens and there is nothing to be done about it except respond appropriately when it is brought to their attention. They shouldn't be held responsible; The employee is the one that did not follow standards (ethics and morals too) and I would argue it is in Radioshack's policy (hence why he isn't employed there any more). In addition, the irony of suing them shortly before they've filed for bankruptcy is rather amusing (to me). Hopefully they don't run in worse financial issues (and hopefully the corporation buying some of their stores,a re also not affected) because it isn't their fault and she's just wanting vengeance but attacking Radioshack is taking it out on them; why not take it out on others too? Why not take it out on the country, the world? Isn't it enough to sue the perpetrator, the one that actually did wrong? There is sadly shame on all sides. There is the problem: not accepting that there is something to be learned from everything and instead just shifting all responsibility/fault/etc. to someone else (no, she didn't deserve it, no she didn't do anything wrong per-se, but yes she can learn from it too!). Ironically if she were to understand this she'd be more aware and more awareness = more preparedness (or more capable of being prepared if not exactly prepared).

  3. Rebecca Brooks

    September 13, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    I love reading your articles Graham, thanks so much for your work.
    You know back in the 80's and 90's if we knew someone that loved to go about their day taking pictures of themselves eating, putting on makeup, or doing whatever we would have thought they were crazy.

    Now nearly everyone does it ? it's so gross

    ?expecting a reply from Coyote ? lol?

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Rebecca Brooks.

      September 13, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words Rebecca.

      Yeah, Coyote is an avid commenter – currently the most active on this site!

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