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Apple tasking new workers with fake projects to gauge trust

updated 12:15 pm EST, Mon January 30, 2012

Extension of strict security measures

Apple is so concerned with protecting the secrecy of future products that it's willing to assign some new workers to fake projects until they can be trusted, reports note. The claim recently appeared in Adam Lashinsky's book Inside Apple, but has also been backed up by a former Apple worker who spoke during a Lashinsky appearance at a LinkedIn event. "A friend of mine who's a senior engineer at Apple, he works on -- or did work on -- fake products I'm sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for 9 months. It's intense," the person said.

The company is known to be highly controlling of workers' access to information. Lashinsky has pointed out that the company is more likely to withhold information than fill people in, to the extent of preventing employees from sharing information with some bosses. Similar to the fake project concept is the "dummy position," in which a person is hired without knowing exactly what they'll be working on.

by MacNN Staff





  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not surprising

    and I'm glad they are this way. Loose lips sink ships (or new products) especially in high tech, especially when all of Apple's competitors are looking to imitate whatever Apple does.

  1. facebook_David

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    How interesting

    Oh, wait.... Apples been doing just that for over 12 years now! They also give differing information to different teams in order to weed out the blabber mouths!

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's really not that hard

    to keep your gd mouth shut; just resist the urge to brag or show off.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wasted money

    If this is Apple's policy, it's one that wastes money. It'd be far better to make them part of projects that aren't a part of Apple's long-term planning and hence do not have to be kept secret. Give these new hires the impression that the secrecy really matters, but know that it doesn't really. Use them to create new products that are actually released.

    I can think of several:

    1. Greatly improve OS X's text services. Add named styles, add EPUB export equivalent to PDF export, add Send to Device, add system-wide, user-friendly GREP searching. Despite all the hype about other medias, text is still the main reason why people use their digital devices.

    2. Improve WiFi visibility. I'm writing this in a public library when my Mac always connects to one particular router because it's the one OS X selects by rules that are beyond my control. When gets choked with traffic, I can't shift to one of the several other WiFi channels because OS X doesn't give me that power. Fix that. That's particularly important for those on the go.

    3. Make the Unix-based printer interface something that's less geeky.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wealth must be nice

    But a waste of people's lives -- the new people at least. I can't help but think this will weaken Apple over the long run, to have an organization that cannot communicate within itself. And thinking of the loss instead of the gain. Too bad for us, but there will always be another company -- one the employees can trust -- which will supersede Apple.

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