Leaks at Apple they are a headache since the days of Steve Jobs. Avoiding them has always been a complicated task, looking for the smallest details to fire the “moles”.
Is the culture of secrecy at its highest level.
The Verge says that there are three types of projects at Apple, depending on their importance. They are identified with the internal keys of Ultra, Black and White.
Ultras are for the biggest product launches; going down a level with the colors Black and White. To receive information about the former, there is even an internal tracking system, the signing of a confidentiality agreement and a restricted project agreement.
“Apple products must surprise the public, giving them something they want before they know they want it”, is the basis of this whole culture of secrecy, according to Zoe Schiffer of The Verge.
To avoid leakers, Apple has several methods created by Steve Jobs himself. It counts Ángel Roca in Ipadízate.
The first thing is to give engineers separate jobs: they will not know the complete product until the end. Each one works without knowing the project the other partner is working on.
One more method: watermarks. If it is strictly necessary for several people to know what is being worked on, each one is given images with different colored watermarks. But the difference is not easily perceptible: while some are black, the others are very dark gray.
Thus, if the leak reaches any means, it will be known who it was the person who provided it.
Another way to identify the “mole” is introduce changes in typography or punctuation marks. But the modification is so minimal, that only one or two pixels of a letter are deleted to know who was assigned a certain document.
If the image appears filtered, experts determine who did it based on the number of pixels in the letter. Incredible.
They don’t always prevent the secret from leaking out, but they make it difficult to leak to such a degree that involves a risk of dismissal for the person.