Apple cracks down on leaks, 12 arrested in 2017

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Work at Apple and reveal information to the press and you could find yourself out of work. 

An explosive Bloomberg report based on an internal Apple memo details how seriously ultra-secretive Apple takes leaks.

The memo both outlined past firings for leaks, and threatens legal and possible criminal action as well, according to the news organization. 

It said Apple had caught 29 leakers in 2017 and noted that 12 of them had been arrested. 

Apple, more so than any other tech firm, likes to hold things close to the vest, and for good reason. Consumers have a hunger for information for every piece of upcoming Apple product information, as evidenced by the plethora of Apple enthusiast blogs.

This helps Apple by getting consumers hyped about buying new products, but it also has negative effects as well.

When the company introduces new iPhones in the fall, the next two quarters have the best sales. But then they start to taper off as rumors of new models start to leak and consumers hold off their purchases until the new ones are released. 

In the memo, according to Bloomberg, Apple cited two leaks. One concerned a delay on some new iPhone software features and the other a software update that pointed to features on a new iPhone and Apple Watch. 

From the memo: “In many cases, leakers don’t set out to leak. Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and begin to pry for information. While it may seem flattering to be approached, it’s important to remember that you’re getting played. The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apple’s secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose.”

Apple didn’t respond to our request for comment. 

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham

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