For the year, 12 Apple employees are arrested for disclosing information

Published on April 14, 2018

For the year, 12 Apple employees are arrested for disclosing information

    Apple warned its employees that it was a serious crime to disclose confidential information about the employer, including future product development plans. The corresponding warning is published in the company's internal corporate blog, reports Bloomberg.

    As you know, Apple especially carefully guards corporate secrets, including future product development plans. For example, if the public learns the characteristics of the new iPhone a month before its official presentation, this will reduce the “wow effect” from the presentation. Accordingly, the number of impulse purchases will decrease, and Apple will suffer millions in losses. Naturally, the employee who divulges the information will be punished to the fullest extent of the law, including imprisonment.

    In a lengthy message in the corporate blog, Apple writes that last year “caught 29 people who revealed secret information,” and 12 of them were arrested: “These people may encounter enormous difficulties when looking for a new job,” the report said. who can also put someone.

    Apple mentioned several cases in which information leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year, when Apple’s software development manager Craig Federigi (Craig Federighi) told staff that the release of some of the planned iPhone software features would be postponed. This information became known to people ahead of time, including to potential buyers, a serious crime on the part of the one who disclosed the secret information. Of course, the perpetrator was identified and arrested.

    Apple also mentioned a leak of information on an unreleased software package with details about the future of the iPhone X and the new Apple Watch.

    Leaking information about a new product can negatively affect sales of current models, give competitors more time to start a competitive response and lead to a reduction in sales when a new product is launched, according to an Apple message. “We want to tell customers ourselves why our product is great, and not for someone else to do it poorly,” wrote Greg Joswiak, head of product marketing at Apple.

    Although other IT companies are unlikely to compare with Apple on the degree of secrecy and severity of staff punishment, they also sometimes dismiss employees for information leakage. Facebook and Google had cases like this. For example, a Google employee in 2016 dismissed an employee who disclosed messages in an internal forum criticizing the company's management. Although it can be said that he was fired not for disclosing information, but for criticizing the leadership. One way or another, he filed a lawsuit against the former company, alleging a violation of its right to free speech, which is protected by the laws of California and the US Constitution.

    At Facebook, search for “rats” tracks employee computers and tapping phone conversations .

    Of course, the problem is not limited to the United States. On the contrary, in Russia or other countries of our region, it is even easier to get fired than in the United States — here, too, the rights of workers are practically not protected. For example, Wargaming recently fired two employees simply for publishing their photos in the office, although one of them did not even sign any NDA. The company's management explained that the dismissal is associated with "violation of corporate rules and ethics." These rules "limit the disclosure of information by employees, including in social media."

    In Russia, selling software for secret surveillance of employees, including all messages in instant messengers, telephone conversations with automatic speech recognition and keyword search, video cameras, wiretapping through microphones on PCs and keyloggers. Employees themselves are often not informed that they are under surveillance. The legality of such actions is highly questionable.

    According to lawyers, the problem is that in many companies it is not detailed in the rules what kind of information relates to a trade secret. “Too broad a definition of confidential information leads to the fact that employees do not say anything at all [about their company], even about the issues that they are allowed to talk about,” comments Chris Baker, a lawyer for Baker Curtis and Schwartz. - This is problem".

    Apple is making maximum efforts to keep development plans and future products secret. But information still continues to fall into the media, meeting the demand for information. Here the question is not only in the idle curiosity of the general public. This is a question of big money. Information about Apple's plans is important for investors, because it may affect the stock price. For example, Apple's capitalization exceeds the capitalization of all Russian companies on the stock exchange together, and the slightest fluctuation of its course is billions of dollars of someone's losses or profits.

    Over the past year, secret information has been leaked to the press about the iPhone X, the new Apple TV set-top box, the Apple Watch model with LTE support, the release of a virtual reality helmet, new iPad models, software updates, and also AirPods headphones.