Apple was known for keeping its upcoming products under the wraps but over the years, the company’s upcoming products have started leaking as much as devices from other OEMs. A new report from The Outline details that Apple is very well aware of the issue and is working on kerbing these leaks.
The internal presentation at Apple was titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple” and was led by the company’s Director of Global Security David Rice and Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman.
The presentation detailed that Apple’s Global Security team employs an undisclosed number of investigators across the world to prevent leaks and information from reaching to competitors and press. Some of these investigators had previously worked at the NSA or law enforcement agencies like the FBI and have to hunt down the source of the leaks as well.
Apple will be hosting many such presentations for its employees in a bid to clamp down on them.
The presentation starts and ends with videos, spliced with shots of Tim Cook presenting a new product at one of Apple’s keynotes, that stress the primacy of secrecy at Apple. “When I see a leak in the press, for me, it’s gut-wrenching,” an Apple employee says in the first video. “It really makes me sick to my stomach.” Another employee adds, “When you leak this information, you’re letting all of us down. It’s our company, the reputation of the company, the hard work of the different teams that work on this stuff.”
During one of the short videos in the presentation, Greg Joswiak, Vice President of iPhone, iPod, and iOS product marketing at Apple, says that Apple has built a team to go after leakers and “they’re being quite effective.”
Interestingly, the presentation reveals that while Apple has successfully managed to reduce the number of leaks happening from its supply chain, the leaks occurring from its campuses in California has increased.
“Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain,” Rice tells the room. “More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined.”
The presentation highlights how the Global Security Team in China has been “busting their ass” to solve and reduce the number of leaks occurring from Apple’s factories, with the effort being described as a “trench warfare non-stop.”
Rice says in the presentation that housing is the most precious part of a device and if that leaks or one has access to it, they pretty much know what the company is going to ship. And to steal such components, workers in Apple’s factories in China have gone to some great lengths as well.
Workers will stash parts in bathrooms, clench them between their toes, throw them over fences, and flush them down the toilet for retrieval in the sewer, Rice says. “We had 8,000 enclosures stolen a long time ago by women putting it in the underwire of their bra,” he says. “They’re going to great lengths to steal this stuff. But it’s not just enclosures. It’s also anything that reveals product prior to announce.”
The irony of a presentation aimed at reducing the number of leaks itself leaking is not lost on me. However, the presentation also details the steps and efforts Apple has taken to keep its products under wraps[Via The Outline]