Apple warns employees of stern actions including getting fired from their jobs and jail time, if found guilty of leaking information

In a leaked memo, Apple has warned its employees that if they are found guilty of leaking any confidential company information about Apple's ongoing work, they would have to face termination from their jobs.

But that won't be all. Apple has further indicated that these employees would also find it very difficult to find employment opportunities in the future as well.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in this file photo. Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook in this file photo. Reuters

According to Bloomberg, the memo came in the aftermath of leaks made in March where an ex-employee had leaked information about Apple’s software roadmap to a reporter. Apple which is known for maintaining the secrecy of its products had found 29 leakers in 2017 and 12 of them were arrested. The memo was addressed to Apple employees, suppliers and contractors.

The report mentions instances in the past where information was leaked to journalists and how that could give its competition a lead time to take corrective measures in their product portfolio so as to compete with Apple.

“We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” said Greg Joswiak, an Apple product marketing executive in the memo according to Bloomberg. 

Even though the memo was released to keep employees in check and to protect trade secrets, it did not keep into account conversations these employees might have with their spouses or children.

For instance, in 2017, minutes before the keynote address, the daughter of a then Apple employee had given a hands-on of the unreleased iPhone X on YouTube through her vlog. As expected, her father who was then an Apple employee lost his job.

A similar memo named 'stopleaks' was sent when a transcript of a TGIF meeting related to the position of Nest, smart home company was leaked. In the memo, the employees were threatened with losing their jobs if they revealed trade secrets.

Apple said, though not in as many words, that if found guilty the leakers would face hell. "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. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple’s supply chain. These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," said the memo.

Meanwhile, Apple's memo does not cover instances of whistleblowing, working conditions and other non-product related cases.

Updated Date: Apr 14, 2018 12:02 PM