Apple Implementing Tighter Security Guidelines for Supply Chain Partners to Prevent Leaks

Apple has implemented tougher security norms in its suppliers’ factories from the beginning of this year in a bid to reduce product leaks. As part of the changes, Apple is preventing its manufacturing partners from collecting Apple employees’ biometric data who visit their factories.

This new rule, however, is not applicable for factory workers. Additionally, Apple’s manufacturing partners must check the criminal background of all assembly line workers who are working on unreleased Apple products. Criminal background checks were only carried out on selected employees, with ones having a criminal background not allowed to enter factory areas where upcoming Apple products are being produced.

Apple is also increasing the use of surveillance cameras in its supplier factories. It is updating its system to track how long a sensitive component remains at a production station. If a component takes longer than expected at one station, an alarm will be automatically triggered. This will also help Apple in determining whether its manufacturing partners are cutting corners in any aspect or not.

The company requires that factory guards at checkpoints now keep a detailed log of workers who transport sensitive components from one area to another.

Other security measures include surveillance cameras capturing all four sides of transport vehicles when they are parked. All factory visitors must now show a government-issued ID card before entering the premises. Apple is also requiring that videos showing the destruction of prototypes and destructive parts are retained for a period of 180 days now.

Many workers view the tighter security implementation from Apple as a double standard, especially since Apple employees’ biometric data are not collected at factory premises. This also goes against Apple’s human rights policy which the company aims to extend to its business partners at every possible level.

Our Take

Leaks surrounding Apple products generally come from its supply chain, so Apple implementing stronger security measures can definitely help clamp down on them. Whether these changes will be effective or not is something that only time will tell.

[Via The Information]