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Why it matters: Leaks are not exclusive to unfinished products being left or lost. Many leakers have connections with or work at supply chain vendors. To curb these leaks, Apple has reportedly sent out warning letters to reputable leakers demanding they not reveal company secrets. Apple has always been secretive about products it has in the works. Yet, despite its best efforts, leaks always seem to get out. Remember the employee who left an iPhone prototype in a pub?
MacRumors notes that one reliable leaker, who goes by "Kang" on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, posted a letter from Apple's legal team demanding that he refrain from sharing details about unreleased products. It claims that his actions could share information with Apple's competitors. It could also "mislead" customers regarding devices that might not ever make it to production.
Same happened to me last year…— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) June 24, 2021
Kang says he is under no obligation to comply with the notice since he has never signed a nondisclosure agreement. He also says that he has never published undisclosed photos nor made any money from his leaks. Despite that, he indicated that he would be careful with future leaks.
Kang is not the only Apple dirt-disher who has reported being put on notice. Ben Gaskin said he received a similar warning letter last year. However, it's unclear if Apple's threats have any teeth.
Regular journalists reporting on information gained via anonymous sources are protected from legal actions. Online leakers are something of a grey area. Regardless, Apple and other companies will no doubt throw their legal clout around whether the threats would hold up in court or not.
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