Details of Apple’s internal meeting on preventing leaks have been leaked to the press. The Outline received a recording of an internal Apple meeting held at the company’s California campus, from an unidentified source attending the briefing. The 60 minutes briefing on “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple” was conducted by David Rice (Director of Global Security), Lee Freedman (Director of Worldwide Investigations) and Jenny Hubbert (member of the Global Security communications and training team). In the recording, Rice and Freedman are heard discussing the importance of preventing leaks, the sources and locations of the leaked information, reasons for leaking information by Apple’s employees and the company’s efforts and resources used to investigate and prevent the leaks. Apple has a very clear policy regarding maintaining secrecy of its soon-to-be-launched products, therefore the efforts put in to avoid information getting to press, competitors and on social media are extensive.
As detailed by the Outline, the briefing held for 100 attendees was the first of many such planned briefings. The focus of the security presentation was to educated employees of the importance of keeping the company’s information confidential, and to make them aware that leakers are eventually caught by the company’s highly professional investigation team comprising of former employees of NSA, FBI, U.S. secret service and U.S military. Hubbert identified the factories in China and office in Cupertino, California as the locations of the leaks. Director Rice highlighted that the Factory workers, who make $350 per month, are driven by substantial monetary incentives to sell information by stealing parts. Furthermore, Rice mentioned that the efforts used over the years to mitigate and control the leaking of sensitive information in China were so successful that last year more leaks were made from Apple’s campuses in California than all the supply chain combined. And this leaked recording of the brief just proves Rice’s findings.
“You always get this battle … like, ‘Well, why do we have to do all this security stuff when our supply chain leaks so much?’” Rice says. “I think the noise has always been high here and once the supply chain noise dropped down suddenly we realized, ‘Oh crap. We have a problem here.’”
Freedman talked about the two leakers working at an Apple Store and the iTunes team, who were caught sending confidential information to tech bloggers, to emphasis that Apple will do what ever it takes and how long it takes to catch the black sheep and put an end to sensitive information going out. Rice concluded the internal security meeting by reinforcing the trust Apple expects from its employees. He advised the attendees to practice “active solicitation” regarding information on unreleased services, and products with anyone outside the “disclosed” group. Furthermore, he encouraged the attendees to live and work in the “Adult Zone” by using discretion. As the security reins are getting tighter, we may never get another insight into what goes on within the boundaries of Apple. One thing is for certain that the company simply does not give up. One may question, what is the big deal in sharing information? Well the answer is quite simple: Apple keynote events are more than just products or services launching, they are about “surprise and delight”.
Hubbert explained that “Surprise and delight when we announce a product to the world that hasn’t leaked. It’s incredibly impactful, in a really positive way. It’s our DNA. It’s our brand. But when leaks get out, that’s even more impactful. It’s a direct hit to all of us.”