Apple has sent a memo to its employees asking them to stop leaking internal information about any future plans and warned them about potential legal action and criminal charges. In an ironic turn of events, the very memo in which Apple asked its employees to stop leaking sensitive information was leaked!
According to the memo, 29 leakers were identified last year; out of these 12 were arrested, and Apple threatened its employees with the same fate. “Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested,” said the memo published on Bloomberg.
In this memo, Apple mentioned a scenario when information was leaked to the media about a meeting earlier this year where Apple’s software engineering head Craig Federighi informed the employees that there would be a delay in some planned iPhone software features. Citing another incident, an employee leaked the final version of an unreleased iOS was found within days of this incident and was fired.
“The employee who leaked the meeting to a reporter later told Apple investigators that he did it because he thought he wouldn’t be discovered. But people who leak — whether they’re Apple employees, contractors or suppliers — do get caught and they’re getting caught faster than ever,” said the memo.
Apple has constantly taken efforts to maintain secrecy; the information leak issue has taken quite a turn, especially pertaining to the iPhone 8 release last year. “While it may seem flattering to be approached, it’s important to remember that you’re getting played,” the memo says. “The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apple’s secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose.”
Apple is quite popular for keeping secrets about its products before they are launched. This has been a practice with Apple since the days of Steve Jobs who came up with the idea of the element of surprise. However, things have changed since those days, and under the management of Tim Cook, leaks have become quite common before a product launch. However, this memo claims that the supply chain leaks have come to a halt.