Let’s step back from the iPhone leak suicide for a minute and just think about the basics of what happened. A phone was lost. A guy was tortured. A guy killed himself or something. Over a fucking phone.
It may have been a very special phone, and it may have been a phone that would have cost a company and its shareholders maybe upwards of billions of theoretical dollars if it had leaked out into a competitor’s hands, but really, it’s a phone. Is it worth a life? No. I think this secrecy thing has gone far enough. Especially since nothing stays unleaked ever anymore!
What caused the death? An overzealous security official who used “interrogation methods” to find the phone. A fucking phone. Going to extremes like putting the worker into solitary confinement, searching his house (illegally? legally?) and possibly beating him isn’t the way to go about things. I know, the employer probably put a lot of pressure on the security chief to find that phone—maybe even threatening the chief himself with termination if the missing device wasn’t found—but he’s a grown man. He can make his own decisions about right and wrong. Torturing a guy over a phone is not right. It’s just a job. Is it worth a life? No.
But of course the blame doesn’t lie only with the security guard. The company Foxconn and its parent company Hon Hai aren’t pillars of the Chinese community when it comes to placing the welfare of its employees above how much yuan they squeeze out of them. Foxconn admitted to breaking Chinese labour laws. CHINESE labour laws. If they don’t care about their workers under normal, everyday circumstances, how much do you think they’ll value a man’s welfare if they think a little roughing up will save a multi-million dollar contract and secure future dealings with Apple? It’s just money. Is it worth a life? No.
And was this method of interrogation even such a smart idea in the first place? If you’re just so compelled to torture someone (which you shouldn’t be) don’t do it over shit that would be leaked three months down the road anyhow. Think about the last two years: do you remember any Apple product that hasn’t had spy shots leaked beforehand that turned out to be real? It’s now become inevitable. The CIA doesn’t torture someone to stop the sun from coming up. That’s fucking retarded.
As for Apple, are they blameless in this? No, of course not. They know exactly what kind of people they’re dealing with. Remember that Chinese labour law story linked above? Apple sent a team to investigate Foxconn before the manufacturer admitted to wrongdoings, yet found nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, you could come to the conclusion that having an insanely locked-down company do your manufacturing is the situation Apple prefers, so they can use fear and intimidation tactics to maintain their culture of secrecy. But really, it’s just a product. Is it worth a life? No.
This may have started about a missing phone, but in the end, it all boils down to being about money. Someone was indirectly killed, through a sequence of sad and unfortunate events, over money. You know who kills for money? Criminals. So please, Apple, stop doing business with criminals. And get your own priorities straight. A phone is not worth dying, or killing, over. [iPhone leak suicide coverage @ Giz]