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Given the large leaking community around Apple, I understand the company takes specific steps to keep products and releases as secret as possible. My job is to take those measures into consideration, protect my sources, make them feel safe, and give you the best information I can gather. The problem I have with this is that sometimes Apple messes up. After multiple talks with sources, I’ve been able to confirm Apple is indeed making employees wear body cameras to prevent them from taking pictures of unreleased products, prototypes, and internal software.
However, Apple is apparently telling employees that these body cameras are mandatory because “there are concerns about harassment going on.” The company says this action will help stop this harassment and help determine if someone is harassing people at work.
I personally don’t believe this. It’s just odd. While I believe Apple should fight harassment, I don’t think body cameras are the way to go.
I’m sure Apple can prevent it, but I also think the company should respect privacy – and this is Apple we are talking about, the supposed king of privacy.
Sources say all of these body cameras are stacked in racks inside different rooms throughout Apple Park, especially near high-security rooms where prototypes are usually stored.
When a supervisor determines a group of employees needs to use them because they are going to work on prototypes or unreleased hardware or software, these employees go to these rooms to get one and something that looks like a vest with a mount for the body camera.
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The employees can wear the vest wherever they want, but I’ve been told the cameras have to remain turned off until they enter the room with the unreleased product and can only be turned on there. Once the employees leave that room, the cameras must be turned off and stored.
These supervisors tell the employees the cameras are necessary to prevent harassment, but everyone knows that’s not the reason behind them. Yet they have to wear these cameras; otherwise, the Cupertino-based company will supposedly fire them.
Once these cameras are stored, a couple of supervisors review the day’s footage to check if there’s something suspicious. Most of the time, they don’t aim to directly catch someone sending a picture to me, Jon Prosser or Mark Gurman, but instead, they try to find suspicious moves that suggest someone is leaking stuff.
- Imagine you are an Apple hardware engineer, and you need to work on a prototype of the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro.
- You get your vest and your body camera, and you go inside the room with the prototype you need to work on.
- You turn your body camera on and start inspecting the device and working on it.
- Let’s now say you are one of my sources, and you want to send me pictures of this prototype for me to post online. You are not going to take a picture of it and send it to me in front of the camera you are wearing; instead, you would try to secretly take a couple of shots without raising suspicion.
- The problem is that this would look very awkward for the people reviewing your camera’s footage. Apple will not fire you for that since the company doesn’t have any proof of you breaking the NDA you signed. However, they will take note of this.
Apple will allegedly fire you instantly if the team responsible for keeping things secret (Apple Global Security) finds pictures online of the same prototype you were working on with the same background and the same awkward angle.
I understand this can be an effective method, but it seemingly violates the privacy principles Apple stands for – and the problem with this is that it only keeps real-life images from leaking; prototype leaks anyway.
That’s the reason why lately, you haven’t seen pictures of unreleased prototypes but rather renders based on these images. It’s not because we don’t want to share the photos we receive with you; we would love to do so, but unfortunately, we simply can’t due to Apple’s recent moves, and we can’t take the risk of having our sources fired. They are human beings like you and me; they have families to take care of, bills to pay, etc. Risking their whole career for a mere Twitter post would be horrible.
Good thing renders exist. This way, we can share something with you while keeping all of our sources anonymous and protected.
Lastly, I want to show you real-life images of what these employees have to wear. As I told you, Apple doesn’t like photos, but this one is safe to post.
Thank you for reading this article. I really hope you found it helpful. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below. As always, have a fantastic day.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]