Apple sacks iPhone X engineer after daughter posts hands-on video to YouTube

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2017
Apple has reportedly fired an engineer who worked on iPhone X after his daughter posted a hands-on video of the device to YouTube, breaking the company's non-disclosure agreement policies.




Last week, Brooke Amelia Peterson posted a short hands-on video of Apple's hotly anticipated smartphone to her YouTube channel, showing off Apple Pay and a few iPhone X exclusive user interface features.

Thanks to hype leading up to the phone's release, the "in the wild" clip shot in the Caffe Macs restaurant on Apple's campus, quickly garnered media attention. Apple subsequently called for its removal, a request with which Peterson complied, but not before the footage went viral.

In a post to her YouTube channel on Saturday, Peterson claims Apple was forced to fire her father over the incident. Company rules strictly prohibit the documenting of unreleased hardware, whether it be photos, video or descriptions of device features. Unauthorized filming on Apple property is also verboten.

"Apple let him go," Peterson said. "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."

Apple's strict NDA policy is in place not only to ensure the security of proprietary technology, but also for employee safety.





The device in question was an internal development unit that carried sensitive information like employee QR codes, product codenames and internal software, including a Text Edit app.

According to The Verge, the elder Peterson worked on iPhone RF and wireless circuit design prior to his dismissal. Prior reports claim the engineer was scheduled to make the move to Apple's new Apple Park campus in December.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

Peterson said her father takes full responsibility for the turn of events, adding that her family holds no animosity toward the company.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 288
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,591member
    From the information presented, I think the decision was harsh but perhaps there is more context that hasn't come out yet.
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  • Reply 2 of 288
    Of course, I am not privy to the details of the fathers error beyond the article. But, all parties could come out ahead by making this incident a teachable moment where this apparently well respected employee could continue in some capacity at Apple. All employees, management and the public in general would benefit from witnessing Apple again as an entity with a compassionate corporate ethos and yet would reaffirm and strengthen their policy against this breach internally.  Being that it is a public problem now, the family is contrite, remorseful and apologetic and are still clearly Apple boosters, all parties can gain in an Apple PR sensitive move. The Public beyond Apple will be watching this in hopes of slinging arrows at Apple, as always.
    watto_cobraradarthekatGeorgeBMacdysamoriaredgeminipaexsangusjony0
  • Reply 3 of 288
    Sorry. But, tough. Apple can't take any chances with all the thieves out there. The stakes are too high. 

    If you sign an agreement, you stick to it. Period. Otherwise there's no point in having such a thing as an agreement, is there?
    edited October 2017 bb-15tommikelewatto_cobrabshanktycho_macuserLoneStar88napoleon_phoneapartnetmagejohnfrombeyondhcrefugee
  • Reply 4 of 288
    Most people support Apple's decision, but they don't stand a chance when this engineer realizes he has to take it to court (because he may not work again, at least at the same level). The reason is that double-edged sword that Apple uniquely wields in controlling the technology, not to mention that facility. A reasonable person might ask how much it would have really cost Apple to ensure that phones could not film without first obtaining a code number or other authorization and what precautions were taken to assist employees with authorized visitors in complying with the security policies. The answer to these questions probably mean this girl will have her education paid for while she stars in her own cable show.
  • Reply 5 of 288
    Wow, um, not the best job taking a modicum of responsibility there. “I’ve apologized to my father, and should have known better,” is probably appropriate.

    Wow. 
    edited October 2017 trashman69bb-15watto_cobrabshanklongpathhcrefugeeksecmobiuspscooter63jahblade
  • Reply 6 of 288
    avon b7 said:
    From the information presented, I think the decision was harsh but perhaps there is more context that hasn't come out yet.
    What about the information already presented in the article strikes you as this move on Apple's part being 'harsh'?
    tommikelewatto_cobranetmagedavenmacxpressjahbladejbdragonronnlolliverjony0
  • Reply 7 of 288
    Apple, I Disagree with this decision. 

    Firing is extreme. 

    It is not correct.


    GeorgeBMacdysamoriaexsangus
  • Reply 8 of 288
    Firing is appropriate but now very messy.
    watto_cobranetmagesandorjnoelmike1mobiusappleinsiderfanjony0
  • Reply 9 of 288
    Of course, I am not privy to the details of the fathers error beyond the article. But, all parties could come out ahead by making this incident a teachable moment where this apparently well respected employee could continue in some capacity at Apple. All employees, management and the public in general would benefit from witnessing Apple again as an entity with a compassionate corporate ethos and yet would reaffirm and strengthen their policy against this breach internally.  Being that it is a public problem now, the family is contrite, remorseful and apologetic and are still clearly Apple boosters, all parties can gain in an Apple PR sensitive move. The Public beyond Apple will be watching this in hopes of slinging arrows at Apple, as always.
    Teachable moment? Are you kidding me?? Oh wait, you're confusing "slings and arrows" with "slinging arrows," so you don't really have a clue anyway.
    tommikelenetmagemwhitebaconstangdocno42jbdragonronnlolliverjony0
  • Reply 10 of 288
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,070member
    Apple, I Disagree with this decision. 

    Firing is extreme. 

    It is not correct.


    His kid should not have even seen, much less touched the phone.  

    Fire him.  He broke the NDA and showed extreme contempt for Apple's policy.  

    It completely correct and legal.   
    bb-15jeff fieldsmacseekeravonordwatto_cobrahodarnetroxdewmetycho_macusercali
  • Reply 11 of 288
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,223member
    yep saw this coming, when i saw the video, i could not believe AI was boring us with this girls whole rant, then i zipped to the end and saw the dad and said this was not going to end well, not only did see record the phone prior to its official release, they record inside the campus and the dad was fool.

    I think a few other in the original article also comments he would be in trouble. People need to learn not to be an idiot. 

    edited October 2017 watto_cobracalijohnfrombeyondmagman1979racerhomiebaconstangmike1pscooter63docno42jahblade
  • Reply 12 of 288
    I condone the firing. He knew the rules.He signed the agreement and he violate it. His daughter's rationalization is pure garbage. He let her be in a position where she could do what she did. Now he has to pay.
    watto_cobranetmagejohnfrombeyondmagman1979sandormobiuspscooter63jbdragonronnlolliver
  • Reply 13 of 288
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,481member
    Apple, I Disagree with this decision. 

    Firing is extreme. 

    It is not correct.


    The intentional security breach was extreme and unprecedented at Apple, and firing the leaker was VERY appropriate. Compassion with no boundaries could destroy the company. Fortunately the leaker admits wrong doing and is not (yet) playing the victim card. 
    watto_cobrahodartycho_macusernetmagemagman1979baconstangmike1pscooter63jahbladejbdragon
  • Reply 14 of 288
    Apple, I Disagree with this decision. 

    Firing is extreme. 

    It is not correct.


    Firing is exactly the correct penalty. And I don't Apple could care less that you disagree. What is it you and many like you can rationalize away his responsibility and fault? Unreal.
    watto_cobrahodarnetmagemagman1979baconstangmike1pscooter63jbdragonronnlolliver
  • Reply 15 of 288
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,600member
    The rules that Apple puts in place in this case are designed to protect the integrity, competitiveness, and massive investment that Apple has made in the development and release of a product that is critical to the company's future. These rules protect a slew of stakeholders including, but not limited to, the company itself, its employees, corporate partners, and Apple shareholders This was a mindless and selfish act by an adolescent more concerned about self-aggrandizing her personal brand on YouTube than protecting her father's job and professional commitment to Apple. The highly trusted Apple employee implicitly sanctioned this violation and must be held fully accountable. I'm all about putting people above process, which is why the termination of this employee is all the more justified. He placed a very large number of other people's jobs and livelihoods at risk by violating rules that were specifically put in place to protect Apple's critical investments and promises to its many stakeholders, including all of the other employees at Apple. The "apology" video by the child is (yet another) example of how selfish individuals attempt to make everything about themselves rather than considering the consequences that their mistaken and selfish actions have on other people. Anti-empathy at its finest.
    avonordwatto_cobratycho_macuseraaronsullivanrrrizemagman1979radarthekatbaconstangequality72521rattlhed
  • Reply 16 of 288
    Most people support Apple's decision, but they don't stand a chance when this engineer realizes he has to take it to court (because he may not work again, at least at the same level). The reason is that double-edged sword that Apple uniquely wields in controlling the technology, not to mention that facility. A reasonable person might ask how much it would have really cost Apple to ensure that phones could not film without first obtaining a code number or other authorization and what precautions were taken to assist employees with authorized visitors in complying with the security policies. The answer to these questions probably mean this girl will have her education paid for while she stars in her own cable show.
    Nope! Nope nope nope nope nope. It's impossible to do proper testing if you build in all kinds of fake conditional stuff about "code numbers" and "authorization". If you do that, you are no longer testing the hardware and software properly in the conditions that actual users will see—and that of course makes the testing useless. You're wrong on every single point, here. This engineer fucked up really badly, and his daughter fucked up really badly. I don't take any pleasure in the punishment, but it is just.
    watto_cobranetmagemagman1979radarthekatbaconstangmobiuspscooter63macawesome88jahbladejbdragon
  • Reply 17 of 288
    Most people support Apple's decision, but they don't stand a chance when this engineer realizes he has to take it to court (because he may not work again, at least at the same level). The reason is that double-edged sword that Apple uniquely wields in controlling the technology, not to mention that facility. A reasonable person might ask how much it would have really cost Apple to ensure that phones could not film without first obtaining a code number or other authorization and what precautions were taken to assist employees with authorized visitors in complying with the security policies. The answer to these questions probably mean this girl will have her education paid for while she stars in her own cable show.
    Not even a remote chance your theory would come to reality. The NDA and all instances covered by it are ironclad and have stood up to every legal challenge. The idea Apple somehow bears responsibility because they didn't build in some security feature you dreamed up is laughable. A more likely scenario is the daughter slaves away at McDonalds to pay for community college because she destroyed her father's career and because her father failed to live up to his responsibility. Your entire line of reasoning is really sad and doesn't say too much for how you approach responsibility and legal commitments. Sad, very sad. With that kind of questionable integrity, you wouldn't last five minutes at our firm.
    watto_cobrahodartycho_macusernetmagetdknoxmagman1979radarthekatbaconstangmobiuspscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 288
    Apple, I Disagree with this decision. 

    Firing is extreme. 

    It is not correct.



    Firing is sad, but appropriate.  Legal action would've been extreme.
    watto_cobramagman1979svanstromsandorksecmacxpresspscooter63jbdragonjony0arlomedia
  • Reply 19 of 288
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,591member
    avon b7 said:
    From the information presented, I think the decision was harsh but perhaps there is more context that hasn't come out yet.
    What about the information already presented in the article strikes you as this move on Apple's part being 'harsh'?
    The famous 'zero tolerance' line exists for a reason. That's why I didn't criticise the move to fire the employee. He should have taken steps to make sure nothing got himself into the situation he is in.

    However, the context of the situation also plays a part in deciding how to deal with the problem. If it were Schiller's kid and in exactly the same situation, would Schiller have been fired?

    This was a video on an Apple site of an announced product very near release. The whole thing shouldn't have happened and evidence shows us that these things rarely occur anyway.

    IMO, it was harsh (based on the information provided) but the employee knew the rules so probably has no option but to accept the decision.

    With just the information provided though, I would have probably chosen a less drastic resolution to the problem.


    propoddysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 288
    Sad the dad lost his awesome job and perks, but he was at fault. He knew the rules. He violated the rules. He decided his princess was worth it. 

    Hopefully he finds a new gig. 
    watto_cobrahodarspellingtorihammeroftruthmagman1979propodCiprolbaconstangsandorjnoel
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