Rumor mill: Apple has long been known for its secrecy when it comes to unreleased products. Despite your efforts, leaks continue to come out on a regular basis, particularly from your supply chain. Apple is reportedly looking to change that by updating safety guidelines for its manufacturing partners. Ironically, the news comes from an internal document leaked to The Information.
Under updated guidelines, manufacturing facilities are required to conduct criminal background checks on assembly line workers who have access to unreleased Apple products. Previously, background checks only applied to certain employees. Those with a criminal record may not enter any area of the facility where unreleased devices are being developed or assembled.
Apple is also updating its computer systems to track how long components stay on workstations. If the part is in one place for too long, the computer will issue safety alerts. Additionally, guards stationed at various checkpoints will be required to keep detailed records on the location and movements of any employee moving “sensitive” components from one area to another.
The new rules also extend outside the factory. For example, any visitor to the facility must present government-issued identification for verification. The external surveillance camera coverage should now be able to capture all four sides of the transport vehicles. Management must also retain any video showing the destruction of prototypes or defective components for at least 180 days.
One of the strangest and perhaps most controversial rules is that plants can no longer collect biometric information from Apple employees visiting the facility. However, the company still requires fingerprints and facial scans from plant personnel. Not only does this create a double standard in the work environment, it also doesn’t make much sense from a safety standpoint.
If anything, factory workers who are on the premises on a daily basis and are recognized by management and co-workers are much less of a threat than a random Apple employee entering for the first time. Identification credentials can be forged and biometric detection is a good last line of defense against physical penetration.
As with all leaks, treat this as a rumor. Apple hasn’t confirmed the policy changes and, considering the nature, it probably never will, even if it’s true.
Image Credit: Conveyor by Novikov Aleksey, ID Check by Helloabc