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An internal memo warning Apple employees that leaking information could result in legal action and criminal charges has, rather predictably, been leaked.
The memo, which was seen by Bloomberg, claims that Apple “caught 29 leakers” last year alone, and that of those, 12 were arrested.
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The memo goes on to say that “leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model,” and that it can “give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives.”
“We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” Greg Joswiak, an Apple product marketing executive, is quoted as saying in the memo.
The memo also details what happens to leakers who are caught.
“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 classified as federal crimes.”
It seems that the threat of even severe penalties wasn’t enough to keep news of the memo from leaking.
The memo goes as far as to name an outlet that had been receiving information about future products.
“Global Security’s digital forensics also helped catch several employees who were feeding confidential details about new products including iPhone X, iPad Pro and AirPods to a blogger at 9to5Mac.”
The full text of the memo can be read over at Bloomberg.
Apple has a workforce of 135,000, and one of the biggest and most convoluted supply chains in the business, so clamping down on leaks is going to be hard. And if the company’s efforts in 2017 are anything to go by, it’s a battle that the Cupertino giant seems to be losing.