In the wake of the recent scandal involving celebrities' leaked nude photos, smartphone privacy has been a hot-button issue. But the latest perpetrator is allegedly not a tech-savvy hacker, but a police officer for the California Highway Patrol.
According to his fellow authorities, Officer Sean Harrington pulled over an unnamed 23-year-old woman on suspicion of DUI two months ago. He allegedly asked her to surrender her phone's password, and then sent her nude pictures to his personal phone, reports the Contra Costa Times.
Even if the woman was intoxicated behind the wheel, as a Breathalyzer test reportedly determined, Harrington would have needed a warrant to search her phone. "We believe Officer Harrington committed a clandestine and illegal intrusion into her privacy which is unspeakable considering his sworn duty to protect the public," her lawyer told the Contra Costa Times. "My client remains understandably distraught as we await further information about who else may possess the photos and what further investigation may uncover."
Harrington is still currently employed by the California Highway Patrol (and placed on desk duty) while the investigation is ongoing, although authorities say they found the woman's photos and text messages on his iPhone 5S and home computer. It was brought to their attention after she realized her iCloud account had a record of the photos being forwarded to a number -- allegedly Harrington's -- at the time of her arrest.
Yikes. If this is all true, we hope this guy gets a stripping...of the badge.