Apple is very protective of its trade secrets, particularly unauthorised leaks of information about upcoming products. Case in point: The tech giant reportedly fired an engineer after his daughter recorded a video showing off features on a pre-release iPhone X at Caffè Macs, the company’s high-end employee cafeteria at its Cupertino, California headquarters, last week.
Per the Verge, YouTuber Brooke Amelia Peterson says her father lost his job as an Apple engineer after she recorded a short video showing off the device’s design and a few features such as the Cover Sheet notification screen and Animoji. Though other people had recorded videos showing off the phone prior to Peterson’s upload, Apple has a strict policy on how employees are expected to handle confidential in-house information, and Peterson’s footage featured both private employee-only QR codes and a notes app with product codenames. As Engadget noted, Apple also has a “general prohibition of recording video on campus” to prevent the leak of corporate secrets. Caffè Macs in particular is supposed to be a secure, private area where employees can chat without fear of being filmed, per 9 to 5 Mac.
In the video, as seen below, the iPhone X makes a roughly one-minute appearance – including a direct view of the notes app and an alien Animoji proclaiming “Take me to your leader!”
“On Tuesday, I woke up and my iPhone X video was going viral,” Peterson said in a new video. “I was on the trending page … My dad was a privileged engineer who worked on the iPhone X and he had one. After Apple released their keynote, after plenty of Youtubers posted YouTube videos, hands-on iPhone X videos, I made a YouTube video about the iPhone X.”
“I have no idea how my video got so much attention considering how many other iPhone X videos there are out there from other YouTubers,” she added. “… At the end of the day, when you work for Apple, it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are, if you break a rule they just have no tolerance.”
Peterson said she had immediately taken down the video, but that her dad was ultimately let go for violations of Apple’s policy and that neither were bitter at the company over the incident.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.