Leaks are an issue for most tech companies, but the problem is often exacerbated for larger firms. Apple in particular can’t seem to keep a secret, even the company’s internal strategy for dealing with leaks ended up on the web last year. Now, a leaked internal memo from Apple shows that the company has had 12 people arrested so far for revealing confidential company information.
The memo warns employees against leaking internal information, adding that last year, Apple’s internal investigators caught 29 people who took part in leaks, with 12 of them getting arrested. Those caught out included employees, contractors and supply chain partners.
The memo, which was obtained by Bloomberg, is strongly worded and goes on to say that “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 of those are classed as federal crimes in the US, but ironically, that didn’t stop the memo from leaking out to the public.
The memo does note that in many cases, leakers don’t set out to reveal information. Apple says that employees are targeted and befriended by reporters, as a “scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic” for a publication, but ultimately, the leaker doesn’t really get anything out of it, but has a lot to lose. The memo also adds that information leaking early can hurt morale for teams working on different projects.
This memo is part of an ongoing effort at Apple to stop information making its way out months and sometimes years prior to launch. Whether or not this will be successful remains to be seen, but this memo leak doesn’t exactly start things off on the right foot.
KitGuru Says: Apple seems to be tightening up its policies when it comes to leaks, with threats of prosecution also coming into play. It will be interesting to see if this slows things down in the long run.