Couple Sues Verizon Over Private Photo Breach

An Oregon couple was stunned to learn that some of their most private photos ended up on the phone of someone they didn’t know. After coming up with no resolution, Verizon suggested the couple “hire a lawyer.” So they did.

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Jeff Smith and Diana Peters have sued Verizon for $4 million after a number of their photos inexplicably ended up on someone else’s phone, KOIN 6 News reports. In a strange bit of coincidence, Peters was informed by a former co-worker that some of her photos somehow appeared on his grandmother’s newly purchased phone.

Verizon reportedly had no explanations for the photos appearing on a stranger’s phone. The company suggested resetting the phone, but the same photos appeared. A Verizon agent eventually told Smith, “I don’t know what you can do except hire a lawyer, pretty much.”

Peters said the photos found on the other phone, which were taken between 18 and 24 months ago, included photos of their young son, and intimate photos of her.

More Details

The Oregonian has further details on the incident. The photos were found on the new phone — a Verizon LG V20 — after photos and videos were backed up to the Verizon cloud service. It’s also noted that the phone numbers on the phones were not the same.

The couple is seeking some sort of accountability for this strange error. As attorney Michael Fuller told The Oregonian, “They don’t want this to happen to anyone else. And at this point, we don’t know if this is something that other Verizon customers have experienced.”

Take Precautions

Considering the bizarre nature of this issue, we’d be hesitant to use Verizon’s cloud services until further explanation is given. This could be happening to other customers, who would never even know. We also don’t know if this particular couple’s photos are appearing on any other phones.

Our general advice is to keep your most personal photos away from cloud services. It may be less convenient, and it may take a few extra steps to secure your private photos — or documents — but it’s worth it.

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy is the former editor in chief of Security Baron. Before, he has worked as a freelance writer and editor at websites like Wirecutter.com and iLounge.com along with publications like the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and the Greater Niagara Newspapers. With digital and print experience under his belt, Phil has a passion for all things technology including home security, cyber security, and the smart home. His bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland College Park initially landed Phil his first job at the Beaver County Times, which has lead to over 15 years of experience as a journalist.

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