Apple's internal memo warning employees against leaks gets leaked
To put a stop on product leaks, Apple has released an internal memo warning its employees against leaking information on confidential future developments. Apple appealed that leaks can negatively impact the sales of an already live product, give rival companies a head start, and lead to fewer sales of the leaked, new product. Ironically enough, the internal memo has been leaked to Bloomberg.
According to the memo, Apple found 29 leakers in the company last year, of which 12 were arrested. While some leakers faced jail time, others incurred massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets, both of which are federal crimes. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," the memo stated.
"People who leak- whether they're Apple employees, contractors, or suppliers- do get caught and they're getting caught faster than ever. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose."
Despite being extremely secretive about its upcoming products, Apple has an unfortunate history of leaks. Various iPhone models have previously surfaced before their formal launch, with the latest iPhone X suffering a major leak ahead of its September 2017 launch. The memo also states that in addition to the iPhone X, "an employee had leaked the link to the gold master of iOS 11."
"Within days, the leaker was identified through an internal investigation and fired. Global Security's digital forensics also helped catch several employees who were feeding confidential details about new products including iPhone X, iPad Pro and AirPods to a blogger at 9to5Mac."
In 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged to "double down" on secrecy to protect information on unannounced company offerings. In 2017, Apple employees were part of a confidential meeting that aimed at stopping leaks. Since then, unreleased products including an Apple TV video-streaming box, an Apple Watch with LTE, an augmented reality (AR) headset, new iPad models, and new AirPods headphones have been leaked.