Lawsuit: ‘Geek Squad’ shared woman’s nude pics

A University of Alabama student with nude photos on her computer decided to drop it off with a team of self-described “geeks” for repair.

What could go wrong?

Only the obvious.

Nicole March, who says she took the nude photos for an art course, is suing Best Buy after her nude pics appeared on the Internet.

According to the lawsuit, March took the computer to a Tuscaloosa Best Buy in August of 2011 and paid $131 for the Geek Squad to salvage data from her hard drive.

Nine months later, March, who worked part-time at the massive electronics chain, was told by a male Geek Squad member that he had nude photos of her and someone else had made them available as a download on Pirate Bay and other Internet sites.

March initially took her complaints to a manager, who later asked that she do him “the favor of not asking who the culprit was.” She filed a police report a week later but no criminal charges were brought.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court, alleges no one at Best Buy was punished and that March suffered mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation due to negligent supervision and training of employees.

The Minneapolis-based electronics retailer, which has not seen the lawsuit, declined comment.

Security experts contacted by this reporter might have said “this sort of thing is going to happen as long as there are art students who don’t understand encryption, which means forever,” if I had actually bothered to contact such an expert.

48 comments Add your comment

HEIL SABAN!

August 14th, 2013
7:34 am

How does this female University of Alabama student know for certain the nude photos on her computer were not posted and distributed by the NSA and the 0bama JiveTalker Administration instead of Best Buy employees?

Grant

August 14th, 2013
7:51 am

Who takes their computers to geek squad?

Set up

August 14th, 2013
8:14 am

The first thought was – it’s a set up. The second was – a Bama student with a computer?

BB

August 14th, 2013
8:30 am

And she says “she took the nude photos for an art course.” Really? I hope you got an A in that course

Devil's Advocate

August 14th, 2013
8:33 am

I’m suing Nicole March and Best Buy for not allowing me to screen these photos to determine if this is newsworthy.

Art Fan

August 14th, 2013
8:33 am

No link to the photos?

abbysenia

August 14th, 2013
8:33 am

Interesting case. With the technology now available, they will and can trace the origins. So I wonder if they can trace back to a Best Buy employee, if there will be a punishment? They can do it.

REMEMBER: about a few years ago a socialite had her pictures leaked on the internet. Her billionaire father had them taken down? Can remember the name…but I’m sure someone out there remembers this.

Hugh Hefner

August 14th, 2013
8:37 am

I am moving to Alabama to be an art teacher. Where else can you tell college girls to strip naked, photograph themselves, and then turn them in for my review so I can give them a grade.

fes

August 14th, 2013
8:45 am

Geek Squad has been doing this for as long as I can remember. One of the first things they do is scan for photos and videos. Consumer beware.

imjstsayin

August 14th, 2013
8:58 am

Maybe she knows because she is not stupid.

Geek

August 14th, 2013
9:05 am

I’m sure that Best Buy will get to the bottom of this but there will be a “re-stocking” fee that Ms. March will have to pay.

Nicole March

August 14th, 2013
9:09 am

Yeah….I took the naked pics of myself for an art class….no wait it was for a photography class…..what I mean was I took them to test out my new camera….yeah that’s the ticket.

404citizen

August 14th, 2013
9:15 am

say hello to America’s newest millionaire

pj

August 14th, 2013
9:20 am

George, what is the point of your last paragraph? I would venture to say that this kind of thing is going to happen as long as men are allowed to get away with this kind of behavior (”boys will be boys” ) treating women with disrespect.

Skynyrd

August 14th, 2013
9:24 am

They actually have computers now in Alabama ?

Joe

August 14th, 2013
9:41 am

Wonder how many guys googled “Nicole March University of Alabama” after reading this story?

MANGLER

August 14th, 2013
9:44 am

Had she read the fine print on the Geek Squad contract, she’d know that she has no sexpectation of privacy when exposing her hard drive to others.

That being said, she was an employee of the store. That’s why it was brushed off by management and why it is now in a court.

mitrebox

August 14th, 2013
9:49 am

That’s not what encryption means. No security expert would tell you that.

Jeff

August 14th, 2013
9:57 am

This is last paragraph from the article:

“Security experts contacted by this reporter might have said “this sort of thing is going to happen as long as there are art students who don’t understand encryption, which means forever,” if I had actually bothered to contact such an expert.”

Hilarious!

George Mathis

August 14th, 2013
9:58 am

Mitrebox — Why not? You can encrypt your files and no one can ever see or read them without a password. For example, if someone took “art” photos with their SLR, they could encrypt the files and store them on their PC as a password protected 7zip file.

Mountain Man

August 14th, 2013
10:00 am

Hey Bubba, got any nude pics of your daughter at Bama? No? Wanna buy some?

Road Scholar

August 14th, 2013
10:31 am

Heil Saban: No but typically you won’t hear the drone before they shoot a missle up your…!

Loose Lips

August 14th, 2013
11:26 am

1. Best Buy will have to review their non-disclosure agreements with the Geek Squad.
2. Here’s the catch 22 if these pics were of children – it’s possible the Geek squad would be required by law to notify the authorities.
3. If there was not a non-disclosure clause – then Best Buy could not dicipline their employees if they prove that they did it.’
4. Ms March must take some responsibilities for leaving these photos on the computer.

Bottom line – Best Buy – settle the case – implement a non-disclosure agreement with the G Squad and move on.

Ms. March – keep your privite photos private

Loose Lips

August 14th, 2013
11:32 am

Oh, I don’t buy the photos were done for an “art” class. Hmm lets see…it’s ok for you to show these photos to the “class” and possibly having a fellow student make copies via a smart phone (then appear on the internet) – but because Best Buy beated you to the punch and there’s a perception that they have deep pockets – you see an opportunity to “CASH IN.”

Yeah RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

iamnotresponsible

August 14th, 2013
11:48 am

Mistake #1 — taking your computer to the Geek Squad

iamnotresponsible

August 14th, 2013
11:50 am

was told by a male Geek Squad member that he had nude photos of her and someone else had made them available as a download on Pirate Bay and other Internet sites.

Sounds like extortion to me

Eve

August 14th, 2013
11:59 am

It seems that some commenters appear to believe that if the pictures weren’t taken for an art class, say, perhaps they were taken for a boyfriend, that Ms. March deserves what she got for taking the pictures. Even if the pictures weren’t for an art class doesn’t mean anyone besides Ms. March should get to decide who sees them. Good luck Ms. March. I hope you take them to the cleaners. Too bad you can’t sue everyone slut shaming you online.

FarTrain

August 14th, 2013
12:05 pm

Eve, without Adam, obviously has no one to correct her erroneous theories and assumptions.

FarTrain

August 14th, 2013
12:08 pm

BTW, Ms. March is apparently blonde, as I personally know of no female who would take their computer, with nude photos on it, to her OWN place of employment to be worked on. Talk about dippy!

Darwin at Work

August 14th, 2013
12:11 pm

Sounds like a scam….load nude photos on your pc…..have Best Buy repair it…..obtain job at Best Buy… and then claim mental anguish….the lawyer probably helped her set up the whole thing….

Marco

August 14th, 2013
12:25 pm

Let me see the pictures so that I can give my opinion.

WHOA!!!

August 14th, 2013
12:35 pm

This MUCH BIGGER issue here it that her EMPLOYER essentially DID THIS considering she worked for the company too and failed to do anything in response! I hope she OWNS BEST BUY after this!!! Man, how I miss Circuit City terribly!

theboog

August 14th, 2013
1:10 pm

She will eventually reuse the pics become “Miss” March even if it’s for the Bammer News or Tree Killers Monthly.

mike

August 14th, 2013
2:46 pm

Sue the pants off BB and ignore the morons on here.

oldfart

August 14th, 2013
2:47 pm

No links? It’s just not a complete story without the “art”.

Encrypt This

August 14th, 2013
3:04 pm

If the drive were encrypted she would have had to give them the password in order for them to salvage data off the hard drive, which is what she brought this in for. Encryption would only protect the files in events such as losing the laptop. Some security expert. You could zip and password the file but an encrypted drive would not have helped in this instance. Send me the link to these pictures and I will give you my expert opinion.

Snotty NozeBratt

August 14th, 2013
3:29 pm

Abbysenia – no one WILL trace their origins. Yes, the technology is available. This is a civil case, not a criminal case.

What kind of ijut poses naked for other people in this era and even REMOTELY thinks their photos will not make the rounds?

Young ladies – no guy respects you an ounce that requires you to make nude photos for his pleasure. If you are that dumn, expect the consequences. Alternately- respect yourself until the day you meet someone who will do the same. It is an act of stew pid atee.

TechnoGeek

August 14th, 2013
3:43 pm

I offered to install strong encryption software on her hardware, but she was worried she might catch a virus or something.

DebDoes

August 14th, 2013
3:44 pm

Dear Georgia venters….kiss my nude photo, signed an Alabama art student! And yes, we have computers and computer companies in Alabama, as well as NASA and some of the best medical care in the Country…ask the Georgia athletes including Braves, Hawks, Falcons, that go over there for treatment. Have a nice day and bless your hearts.

Scot Krause

August 14th, 2013
5:47 pm

Geneva

August 14th, 2013
5:51 pm

Well, it’s official. The AJC has officially gone down the toilet.

brockep

August 14th, 2013
5:57 pm

She might have had a case, but the lie about the art class may get her claim barred by the unclean hands doctrine.

Dirty, dirty girl!

Bumper

August 14th, 2013
6:45 pm

This is why you never under any circumstances want to hand over your computer to some stranger, Geek Squad or whoever. I’ve lost important data on imploding hard drives, but when I’m unable to fix things I remove the drives and cut ‘em up with tin snips.

LydiasDad

August 14th, 2013
10:56 pm

The last paragraph of this article was very unprofessional for a journalist. So, I’m guessing George is not really a journalist. This is first time I’ve seen a writer end a column with a snarky comment with no foundation in truth. Pathetic. Low even for the AJC.

Obamamama

August 15th, 2013
12:51 am

Obama Is The Nation’s Worst Economic President Ever!!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obama has the worst jobs record of any President in the last 60 years. From 1948 until January 2009 when Obama took office, there has been a combined 39 months of unemployment above 8 percent. Since Obama took office we endured 43 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent and no end in sight!
Here’s a few more items on Obama’s reign of terror.

Barack Obama has a record four straight years of trillion dollar deficits.
Barack Obama is the worst jobs president since the Great Depression.
Barack Obama is the only president to preside over the downgrade of the US economy.
Barack Obama blew a trillion dollars on a failed ‘stimulus’ plan.
Barack Obama owns one-third of the national debt.
Barack Obama added $5.8 trillion to the national debt.
Barack Obama is the food stamp president.
Barack Obama added more people to disability than any president.
Barack Obama’s failed policies caused average income to fall $5,000 per household.
Barack Obama watched as the Middle East fell under the control of radical Islam.
Barack Obama’s foreign policy includes a resurgence of Al-Qaeda.

And we still have three more years to go!

Postman Al

August 15th, 2013
3:48 am

“Geek Squad” where all you need to apply is just a bit of education and maybe a hint of computer know how ..yes, what could go wrong.

She goes to Alabama … her local IT Dept has more experience than Geek Squad, she should have asked them. Heck post a message on Facebook, I’m sure she has at least 1-2 friends with better knowledge of computers than Geek Squad, ask them! Sooo many better money saving options than GS

X the BAMMERS

August 15th, 2013
4:53 am

I saw nothing where she took responsibility for her own actions. Hey BAMMEER gurl, Don’t allow nude pictures to be taken, and there would be no need for worrying about Best Buy, Geek Squad, or XYZ co seeing them.

Another person who blames their personal stupidity on someone else……….

Pony Time

August 15th, 2013
2:30 pm

The Pink Pony needs to hire this chica! I can hear the Bama fans hollering roll miss tide now.