A fresh report claims to shed light on Apple’s increased efforts in keeping product secrecy and preventing leaks before launches. Apple is said to have been hosting internal briefings within the campus among employees educating them about the importance of product privacy, measures it is taking to ensure less leaks pour out, and urging them "to keep their mouth shut."
Months before the launch, Apple leaks, particularly about the iPhone, start pouring in giving journalists and rival companies a lot to write about and tinker with. These briefings are aimed at highlighting all the efforts Apple is doing to curb that, and The Outline has got hold of a recording from the inside of one such meeting giving us all the scoop that was discussed. The internal briefing titled “Stopping Leakers - Keeping Confidential at Apple” was reportedly led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubert from the Global Security team.
The recording from the meeting reveals that Apple has sourced a security team comprised of investigators that have backgrounds in the NSA, FBI, the Secret Service, and the military to counter these leaks and minimise them as much as possible. The new Product Security Team scouts all factory workers in the supply chain to minimise leaks as much as possible.
In the briefing, Rice however claims that, in 2016, there were more leaks coming from its employees on campus than the supply chain. “Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain. More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined,” Rice told the room.
Apple’s marketing VP Greg Joswiak also spoke at the briefing, “This has become a big deal for Tim. Matter of fact, it should be important to literally everybody at Apple that we can't tolerate this any longer. I have faith deep in my soul that if we hire smart people they’re going to think about this, they’re going to understand this, and ultimately they’re going to do the right thing, and that’s to keep their mouth shut.”
Rice further stresses on all the ways the security team is trying to reduce these leaks, including thorough checks at factories. The most valuable part leaked is the housing or enclosure of the iPhone or MacBook giving away the design of the product before launch. “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.”
Lastly, Rice ends the briefing asking all the employees to work in the ‘Adult Zone’. “When I call it the Adult Zone, I really mean that. One thing you have to recognise — I hope you recognise — is that Apple gives you an extraordinary amount of power,” he says.
The entire excerpt from the internal briefing has been published by The Outline.