A Leaked Apple Memo Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information

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Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reports on a leaked Apple memo that warns employees to stop leaking information. It mentions potential legal action and criminal charges, making this a more aggressive move towards information control.

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Leaked Apple Memo

It’s of course, doubly ironic that a memo about leaks would leak, and that Mark Gurman, a notable “leak reporter”, would report it. The memo reads in part,

Last month, Apple caught and fired the employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apple’s software roadmap….people who leak — whether they’re Apple employees, contractors or suppliers — do get caught and they’re getting caught faster than ever…While it may seem flattering to be approached [by press], it’s important to remember that you’re getting played.

Image of Tim Cook. A leaked Apple memo warns employees to stop leaking information.

Image via the Associated Press

Apple says it has already caught 29 leakers last year, 12 of which were arrested. Leakers not only lose their job but also may have trouble getting hired elsewhere. In the memo, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s product marketing executive, said: “We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else.”

Apple isn’t the only company with this problem, as most big companies with juicy products face leaking employees. Facebook and Google have had problems with this too. While bloggers and journalists don’t have a responsibility to keep a company’s secrets, it has a big impact on employees.

[We Don’t Get to Be Outraged by Apple Leaks]

Josh Shaffer, who leads the UIKit team, said: “Thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release. Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us.”

Update

I thought John Gruber’s take over at Daring Fireball was interesting. He mentions that the “reporter” mentioned in many of these stories is in fact Mark Gurman himself, whether he was writing for 9to5Mac or his current gig at Bloomberg. “We’ll be getting into Inception territory if the leaker of the memo on leakers getting fired for leaking to Gurman gets fired for leaking it to Gurman.”

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d'monder
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d'monder

Any organization with 123,000 employees is going to have its bad, um, apples.

That of course does not excuse breaches of NDA. However, is reminding people they’ll have the hammer dropped on them if they leak, really the answer? No amount of penalties and bludgeoning can replace the PASSION of making the next great thing, and the PRIDE of seeing it introduced as a complete surprise. DNA doesn’t need policing….