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Apple seems to be cracking down on leakers…according to a new leak

Apple is sick of everybody leaking its new products.

apple store selling iphone in new york
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It seems that Apple is unhappy about recent, frequent leaks on its unreleased products, and is cracking down on security in its supply chain. New guidelines for its manufacturing partners tighten security checks, as found by The Information, who got a leaked copy of an internal document showing the changes.

Those changes include expanding criminal background checks to include assembly workers that have access to unreleased hardware, from the prior guidelines on background checks only on certain employees. Any criminal histories that come up mean that manufacturer can’t let those employees into any part of the factory where unreleased devices are being assembled or stored.

Adding to the dystopian overlord feel, the computer systems in those manufacturing facilities are getting an upgrade that tracks how long components stay at workstations. If found to be over the usual manufacturing time, the system will alert supervisors. Physical security on the movement of components is also being tightened up, with guards at checkpoints who will record who is moving “sensitive” (unreleased) components around the factory.

If you thought the rules only covered employees, well, you’d be mistaken. Visitors need to show government-issued ID for vetting, any transport vehicles need to have all four sides captured by surveillance cameras, and footage of destroyed prototypes or faulty components need to be kept for at least 180 days. Sounds like even Solid Snake would have difficulty getting into an Apple facility, although he could just hide in a supply box.

Apple also has one weird rule change in the documents – the plants can’t capture biometric information from any Apple employee that’s visiting. I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work with how pervasive Apple’s security camera requirements seem to be, but that seems up to the factory to figure out.

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