Wal-Mart investigates privacy breach at Regina store
Hacker sent personal photos and information to California
Wal-Mart Canada is investigating a privacy breach at one of its Regina stores.
The CBC iTeam, an investigative news unit, has learned that someone obtained the phone numbers – and photographs – of a customer who had used the photo developing machines in the east Regina location.
Janice Gwilliam says her home phone rang about an hour after she developed family pictures at the store.
"They asked if I'd just developed pictures and I said, yes, at Wal-Mart. And they said, 'Was it you in the photograph?' And I said, no it wasn't me, and they said they were offering a $300 makeover because she's extremely ugly," she said.
Gwilliam checked the call display on her phone and the number had a California area code.
She went back to the store and spoke with a series of managers. They said they were investigating and that they had received a similar complaint from another customer.
Gwilliam is rattled by what happened. She’s also upset with how the store responded.
"The only thing I was surprised about is we went in there to talk to [a store representative] and people were still using those photo machines to develop the pictures," she said.
Andrew Pelletier is Vice-President of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Canada.
He said the head office learned of the complaint last week, however, he said the local manager took down incorrect information from the Gwilliams and was unable to contact the family.
Pelletier said he had not been told of the second complaint. But he said the company is very concerned by what it knows so far.
"We take the privacy and confidentiality of customers very seriously," he said. "Clearly, what's reported here should never have occurred, and we will get to the bottom of it," he continued. "It is something that we are very concerned about investigating and reviewing in detail because we've never before received a complaint even remotely of this nature."
Pelletier said that the company would not shut-down the photo department in a store based on a single unsubstantiated complaint.