Apple Updates Factory Security Guidelines to Prevent Leaks

Apple has updated its guidelines aimed at stopping unwanted leaks from the supply chain.

According to a new report from The Information, Apple recently banned its manufacturing partners from collecting facial recognition scans and the fingerprint data of Apple employees who visit manufacturing facilities.

Citing an internal Apple document it reviewed, The Information also reports that the new privacy rule does not apply to the more than 1 million factory workers who make Apple’s products.

The internal document is reportedly part of Apple’s new security protocols aimed at reducing intellectual property theft, and also includes a mandated increase in surveillance camera use at manufacturing facilities, along with upgrades to component tracking systems that monitor Apple hardware during production. The document also requires manufacturers to conduct criminal background checks on factory workers.

From The Information:

…The new rule is part of Apple’s updated factory security guidelines, which aims to better preserve its employees’ privacy while toughening the measures used by factory owners to prevent prototypes, designs and other intellectual property from being stolen or shared with outsiders. The latest guidelines require manufacturers to conduct criminal background checks of their workers, the first time Apple has called on them to do so. The rules also mandate increased use of surveillance cameras at facilities and upgrades to factory systems that track components during the production process in order to prevent theft.

Apple is also increasing the use of surveillance cameras in its supplier factories, and the Cupertino company now requires that factory guards at checkpoints now keep a detailed log of workers who transport sensitive components from one area to another.

Other security measures include surveillance cameras capturing all four sides of transport vehicles when they are parked. All factory visitors must now show a government-issued ID card before entering the premises. Apple is also requiring that videos showing the destruction of prototypes and destructive parts are retained for a period of 180 days now.