Apple Engineer Reportedly Fired After Daughter's Video Goes Viral
Reports have surfaced that Apple fired one of its engineers after his daughter leaked sensitive company information regarding the iPhone X. Brooke Amelia Peterson published a video to her YouTube channel shortly after seeing that other YouTube personalities had done the 'same thing.' The vlog included her visiting her father at the Apple campus and ultimately use her father's iPhone X. The vlog rapidly spiked in popularity, and as Peterson notes, it even outranked an Ellen Degeneres video on YouTube's trending list. It also made its way onto company-specific niche websites like 9to5Mac.
(9to5Mac -- a site notorious for confirming the biggest Apple product rumors -- even noted that Apple would have issues with the video. "The video has been up for a couple days now, but we don’t think Apple would necessarily approve of it so watch it below whilst it’s still up," wrote Benjamin Mayo.)
The video, indeed, was a short-lived success. Apple asked Peterson to take down her video immediately. She complied but the damage had been done. Peterson said in a new video that her father has been fired from Apple as a result of her vlog. She said her father "takes full responsibility" for giving her his iPhone X.
Unlike other YouTube testing videos, Peterson had a company product rather than a clean device. The employee device had sensitive information, codenames and QR codes related to other staffers and future projects.
Peterson remained relatively positive about the future. She said "we're good" in terms of her family's financial stability and even suggested that the incident could help other employees avoid the same fate as her father.
The reported firing comes just days before the iPhone X can get into the hands of the general public.
Other Apple Leaks
Should the claims be confirmed by the company, Peterson's father getting removed from the company could be a step in the right direction for the security of Apple's intellectual property. The company is notorious for high-stakes leaks. Sure, while some of them were probably (slightly) intentional to bump discussion about new products, not all of them were. Apple has very publicly made security a growing standard for its employees. However, details regarding the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were still coming out just days before the keynote.
Most notably, final builds of the iOS 11 system hit the web with a lot of added details about the hardware launches as well. The leaks confirmed several major details, including the facial scanner on the iPhone X. External speculation about the technology had been swirling in the months prior due to Apple execs meeting with facial recognition specialists. However, these leaks were tracked to an Apple employee rather than a curious blogger. Apple "watcher" John Gruber called it "a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee."
Millions read the leaked details, and so when Apple executives stood onstage and explained the new technology, there was a sense of confirmation rather than surprise and awe. Apple's actions -- should the reports toward Peterson be true -- signal an increased protectiveness toward other major innovations.