London – The data watchdog in the UK is launching a probe into Apple after a former senior woman engineer claimed the tech giant accessed smartphones of its employees via the Face ID feature.
In a complaint filed with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the whistleblower Ashley Gjovik alleged the tech giant fired her after she raised a number of concerns, internally and publicly, including over the safety of the workplace.
She alleged that Apple is “pressuring its employees to participate in invasive data collection procedures, including scans of ears/ear canals”.
The ICO and France’s CNIL confirmed receipt of Gjovik’s privacy complaint against Apple, reports TechCrunch.
“We are aware of this matter and we will assess the information provided,” an ICO spokesperson said.
Gjovik also claimed that Apple used an app on employees’ iPhones that “automatically took photos/videos whenever it ’thought it saw a face’ ”.
She was fired from the company last September after she raised concerns about her employer’s approach toward staff privacy.
A pair of ex-Apple employees who made headlines last year for leading a whistleblower movement against the company have since become embroiled in a bizarre legal fight, accusing each other of harassment and stalking.
Gjovik and another ex-Apple employee Cher Scarlett co-founded a whistleblower campaign called #AppleToo last tear.
While Scarlett focused on pay equity, remote work and transparency issues at Apple, Gjovik raised concerns at Apple’s privacy policies.
Apple was yet to comment on the latest reports.