Apple fires iPhone X engineer after daughter’s hands-on video goes viral

“Apple has reportedly dismissed an engineer after his daughter’s iPhone X hands-on video went viral on YouTube,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge. “Brooke Amelia Peterson published a vlog earlier this week, which included a trip to the Apple campus to visit her father and see an unreleased iPhone X.”

“Peterson now claims her father has been fired as a result of her video,” Warren reports. “In a tearful video, Peterson explains her father violated an Apple company rule by allowing her to film the unreleased handset at Apple’s campus.”

“The video itself may have seemed like an innocent hands-on, but it did include footage of an iPhone X with special employee-only QR codes,” Warren reports. “A notes app was also shown on the iPhone X in the video, which appeared to include codenames of unreleased Apple products. Filming on Apple’s campus is strictly prohibited, so filming an unreleased iPhone X is a definite rule violation.”

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: An obviously fireable offense. Filming even something innocuous inside is bad enough. Filming an unreleased Apple product and posting it to Google’s YouTube? Please.

This must have been a complete oversight, a temporary brain-fart, for the employee to allow this. Otherwise, if this was emblematic of the employee’s decision-making capabilities, we’d have to question why Apple hired him in the first place.

Brooke Peterson’s response to her father’s firing:

34 Comments

  1. Wow, spectacular bad judgment though I do feel a bit sorry for this man’s family. The daughter must feel horrible. I kind of wonder why Apple even allows employees to bring family in to see what they’re working on. That can’t be good for the kind of security they seek. Time for another policy change?

    1. Why feel sorry for his family? This was an outrageous thing to do. I could care less if she “feels horrible”, she got her dad fired and he was an idiot to allow this to happen in the first place. They deserve no sympathy.

      1. Wow, really? His family is collateral damage that’s why. They were not responsible for his bad judgment. You obviously don’t have a family to come off so callously. Maybe he doesn’t deserve sympathy but they do.

        For a young girl to innocently do something to get her Dad fired must be pretty devastating and no doubt something she will never forget or maybe forgive herself for. You can go back to your no-Xmas planning Ebenezer.

        1. Funny how easy it is to spot people that aren’t experienced in what a family actually is yet. Having a spouse and kids is something that you can never fully understand until you experience it. It’s a completely different part of life.

          This is brutal for everyone involved. It was a silly mistake, and Apple had to act swiftly and harshly otherwise it’ll continue. Sucks!

          Hopefully the family can push through this easily.

          1. Typical hippy narcissist trying to be cool by showing off the new iPhone to his spoiled brat daughter. Glad to hear TC has enough testosterone to drop a loser like this quickly, but he needs to get security handled on his campus. This was no innocent mistake, YouTube whoring was more important to both dad and princess than keeping a job. Look at that giant fucking camera she’s toting around in there! If we’re lucky the firing will prevent any more additions to this family’s gene pool.

        2. “For a young girl to innocently do something to get her Dad fired must be pretty devastating”

          Did you watch the second video? She’s not devastated. And she doesn’t seem to think there is anything that she needs to forgive herself for. She calls it an innocent mistake, asks people to stop hating on her father, and advises people to not forget or ignore rules.

          1. Exactly, the daughter doesn’t seem contrite at all, especially when she talks about Apple “doing a better job” of clarifying the “policies.”
            You would have to be an absolute dunce not to realize that releasing video of unreleased Apple products was an idiotic idea.

      1. Most of the time on this forum I see griping about the leaks at Apple. Why can’t Cook control the links in the complex supply chain? Why can’t we have the “one big thing” surprise anymore?

        Here is a case in which an employee facilitated the recording of a video on unreleased hardware and other sensitive information which was subsequently distributed to the world via YouTube – a competitor’s streaming platform which just makes it that much worse. There is no doubt of identity in this case, and no doubt of the horribly flawed judgment of the employee. So, if the reports are correct, then the employee has been fired and justice is done.

        Do I feel for the man’s family and the daughter who posted the video? Sure. But I also believe in personal responsibility – actions have consequences and the consequence in this case was being fired for cause.

        Trust is one of the most important commodities that a person possesses. Do not risk losing that trust.

      2. Agree that the punishment seems excessive given that the video had no actual revelations about the iPhone X and was not a deliberate attempt to leak information about it. A more appropriate action might have been to discipline the father, publicize his transgression to Apple employees and ban future visits to the Apple campus by his family. Apple lost a valuable engineer for no real purpose.

    2. He didn’t allow her in to see what he was working on before it was released. The phone had already been released, numerous reviewers already have their hands on it already and had taken video of it in the hand-on area. He probably didn’t think it was a big deal to release a video of a phone that had already been launched and was all over YouTube.

      Sure, it wasn’t shipped out to the general public yet, but it wasn’t a big secret.

      Besides, I heard he got fired because no recording is allowed in general. When you’ve been using a phone for a while before it’s released, you forget that most have never seen it outside of your bubble.

    3. They didn’t let them in to see what he was working on. They were in the cafeteria, and he bright his work to lunch with him.

      It’s a shame, but consequences for minor mistakes can be huge.

  2. Apple really had no choice here. Everybody knows that Apple regards confidentiality as a very important matter prior to the release of new products and it’s even more applicable for a flagship iPhone.

    Reviewers have been allowed to use iPhone X, but there’s a very strict embargo on publishing any reviews ahead of time. It’s unthinkable that the daughter of an Apple employee could get away with breaking that embargo.

    If Apple had let this incident pass, the floodgates would be open for all sorts of incremental leaks from within Apple concerning future products. Brooke Amelia Peterson was given privileged access to iPhone X and was so portly supervised during the access that she was able to shoot a video of it, which broke two rules. One was disclosing the iPhone X and it’s contents, the other was unauthorised filming on Apple’s premises. The fact that her video went viral means that Apple had no option but to make an example of him and fire hime immediately.

  3. Seems ridiculous to get fired over a video as innocuous — and vapid — as this teenage girl’s vlog, but if Apple has a no-video policy, this engineer should have known about it.

    I wonder, though, will Apple be able to realistically enforce such a policy for visitors at Apple Park??? Seems impossible to me.

    1. Unless you have access to CIA super-miniaturized cameras, it is not impossible. A number of places that I have visited for work purposes confiscate your phone and other recording equipment at the lobby desk. You violate that rule at your own peril.

      But maintaining tight security will undoubtedly get more difficult as surveillance technology evolves.

  4. Years ago, I was there on a tour, right around the time SJ was iCEO. They had a small museum showing an Apple 1 and I whipped out my Canon SureShot and took a couple of snaps of the thing behind glass. The security guard came over and stopped me from even doing that, even though we weren’t in any kind of secure area or anything.

    If Apple allows folks from the public to come in, even under special circumstances, it would be good of them to post a few signs that no pictures are allowed. When I was there, there were none and nobody mentioned it when we arrived.

    Food for thought…

  5. First thoughts…a harsh though fair reminder about personal responsibility.
    After watching the video I’m pretty sure Apple wanted to send an even bigger message than just job termination. This guy is incredibly lax with his big mouth and total unawareness of his daughter’s “shopping cures all my ills” self indulgent lifestyle whilst seemingly oblivious to her filming him showing off the X’s ApplePay – in Apple HQ FFS!…would go straight to her YouTube channel. You can’t make this stuff up.
    Shopping habit…curtailed.
    College fund…?
    Health insurance…?
    Status/notoriety …?
    Just wow.

  6. Maybe scrubbing the offending videos from the Internet behind the scenes and reprimanding the engineer would have caused less attention to this video. Security is important but security doesn’t create these products, engineering does. Isn’t the value of the man’s work worth more going forward than enforcing an absolute zero-tolerance policy for something obviously not done for malicious purposes?

  7. Allowing this phone to be filmed was such a horrible lack of judgment. Wow. I feel bad for them, but wow… a big mistake… tying Apple’s hands…

    Time for everyone to stop feeling entitled.

  8. I blame the engineer. Obviously he knew the policy and know by not only filming, but handing over his X to her that somebody would get wind of it. Now if she had just kept her video private, he would probably still be working there. Unless he told her to keep it private, and she didn’t. Oh well, life in paradise is over…..

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