Cookies By The Bucket staff accused of violating privacy laws, inappropriate behavior

ALLEGATIONS. Users online are accusing Cookies By The Bucket's management for violating their data privacy and sexual harrasment. Photo from CBTB's Facebook page

ALLEGATIONS. Users online are accusing Cookies By The Bucket's management for violating their data privacy and sexual harrasment.

Photo from CBTB's Facebook page

Several Twitter users, including a social media influencer, are speaking up about cases of inappropriate behavior from the staff and the CEO of local cookie brand Cookies By The Bucket (CBTB).

On Friday, June 19, TV host and model Kim Cruz took to Twitter to accuse an unnamed male employee of CBTB of spreading her contact details and photos in group chats with other men. This was brought to her attention by a former student baker of CBTB, who told Kim via Instagram DM that she left the company because the executives were allegedly "disgusting."

Kim also received from the concerned citizen screenshots from the supposed group chat, which included her photo, her full name, and cellphone number. Lewd comments were also made about her, including sexual acts the sender and one of the people in the chat wanted to do to her.

"This disgusting behavior and the fact that these pervs are spreading private addresses and numbers given to them for marketing purposes is sickening," Kim said on Twitter, adding that her details were given to CBTB for cookie deliveries.

"I am sick of men getting away with things like these and I am tired of seeing women traumatized by how they’re objectified and treated. For you to use a brand to get private information – only to maliciously use them is extremely low. Not to mention, against the law," Kim added, pointing out that the alleged actions violate Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

Kim also shared screenshots of private messages that she said she got from other women who made allegations against the company's executives.

Another Twitter user, who said she was a franchise owner, replied to Kim's thread and apologized on behalf of all other CBTB franchisees. 

"Please know that although we are associated with them as a franchisee, we are not involved on the misuse of your private information and the whole act that the executives have perpetrated. We firmly stand with the women victimized and we will never condone any act that promotes sexual assault," she wrote.

That Friday night,  Cookies By The Bucket posted an apology on its Facebook page. The note was signed by CEO Francis Mariano, and said that "certain issues have surfaced recently" and that they do not condone the behavior. CBTB said it "investigated the matter" and fired the people involved, and would implement "stricter company guidelines."

The post on the apology, however, was no longer on the page as of 10 pm on Friday. The pinned post on the top of the page dated May 28 – about a buy 1, take 1 offer – suddenly got 1,800 angry emoticons as of Saturday afternoon, June 20.

Other posts were dominated by angry emoticons too, as the Facebook page got flooded by users calling for a boycott of the brand. 

As of Saturday afternoon, Cookies By The Bucket had yet to respond to Rappler's request for an official response to the allegations. – Rappler.com