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

The Verge:

Apple has reportedly dismissed an engineer after his daughter’s iPhone X hands-on video went viral on YouTube. 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.

Sad but not at all surprising, given the content of the video. Dad should have known better.



  • Mo

    What part of this guy’s training did not stress confidentiality enough for him to take it seriously?

    • Janak Parekh

      Not just that, this is the most prominent and important Apple product in years. It’s not like it’s even easy to get one before release, engineers have to go through whole policies.

      • Mo

        And all it took was the apple of this engineer’s eye to make him forget the Apple that paid for her last three birthday presents.

        Narcissist privileged teen + careless parent is rarely a great combination.

    • The Cappy

      She strikes me as being insufferably self-centered, especially the part where she for some reason needs to give us her bio in the second video. But it surprises me a little that he lost his job. If this had happened before they’d announced it, I can see it having been the end of the world. But this was only a few days before it went on sale, and weeks after the keynote. We’ve all read about it, seen videos about it, talked ourselves hoarse about the notch. She she actually spill any secrets (even any “we’re pretending it’s a secret even though everybody knows the cat is about of the bag” pseudo-secrets?). I don’t work in the tech sector so this actually surprises me a little.

      • Mo

        She is indeed insufferable and self-centered. These weren’t her decisions to make, and now her father has rightly paid the price for that careless arrogance.

        He was there for several years, and no doubt signed several NDAs for each project he ever worked on. I don’t work in the tech sector, but even I know the importance of such information about the most successful corporation in history.

        He knew this was an unreleased product. He knew his kid regularly posted personal videos in public. He knew she was videoing his phone, both before and after he handed it to her. He knew it was displaying information about internal processes that are never meant for the public to see.

        It didn’t matter if tech nerds online were already discussing this device. What tech nerds do or believe or say is inconsequential compared to the total market.

        It mattered that he violated his employer’s secrecy on a product that may be the future direction of that entire line.

        He knew all this, and yet chose to indulge his “shopping fixes everything” brat who then posted yet another egocentric video (which was less about the incident than about herself, as you described) in which she took the opportunity to advise Apple on how they should improve their communications to employees about confidential material. Ten years from now, her family’s SoCal connections will likely land her in a cushy management position which supervises work she’ll understand not at all.

        My only surprise here is that he was not fired sooner.

        • The Cappy

          Reported elsewhere: her video showed a document that contained the code names of unreleased products. I suspect this was the reason he got canned, and not so much for showing the iPhone X itself. I wonder, though, if he’d have been fired if she’d just shown the phone and no sensitive data. Hopefully she’s learned a bit of circumspection; I’m sure he has.

          • Mo

            Try to explain that to all the slackjaws who are still claiming this was no big deal.

          • The Cappy

            Though I don’t think this site actually reported on the genuinely important details. This is why it’s important to get your news from multiple sources I guess. You and I won’t be fixing anyone else. But we can at least be informed.

          • Mo

            From the Verge story, I viewed two videos in which the important details of acts committed by two foolish people were fairly evident. That story (and others) also described details divulged by that phone’s screen.

            It was nobody’s job to “fix” anyone, it was Apple’s task to remove a security risk, which is what I expect.

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  • Anything to be popular and bring in ad dollars, including dad’s job.

    But, maybe dad should have had a clue, ultimately he could have stopped the video from being posted and it’s not like he didn’t know about it.

    • Mo

      Knowing what his kid does on her Youtube channel, he had three chances to keep this from happening, and he waltzed right through them all.

      • Robert.Walter

        You sure engage in making a lot of assumptions and speculations about something you were not at all involved in.

        • Mo

          I know what I’ve seen made public, and I know what the stakes are. Do you?

  • Randy Spencer

    Not sure what the big deal was, it’s an announced product. All the Apple employees can start carrying it around in public after they are announced. Although usually it’s only a week from announcement to order to release. This has been a long time coming.

    • Mo

      Make sure you mention this to your next employer while you’re signing their NDA.

    • Guest

      I agree that this was an overreaction, though also that the engineer should have known better. Moreover, why did nobody else apparently try to stop the filming? Plenty of other Apple employees, all aware of the policy, had to be in the vicinity and understand what was going on. Nobody said anything? The whole situation seems a little bit weird.

      Given that the product had already been announced and demoed to the press, seems like some sort of disciplinary action (warning, pay cut, change in status, etc) would have been more appropriate.

    • rick gregory

      She filmed that in Sept and just posted it later.. And everything else you say is irrelevant. He violated his NDA knowing that Apple does not show lenience on people who do so. Or don’t you think it’s important to keep one’s word?

    • freediverx

      Apple employees received explicit instructions on what they could and couldn’t do with their iPhone X pre-release. They were allowed to use it in public, but were instructed to put the phone away if they were approached any anyone with questions.

  • GlennC777

    Unfortunate but absolutely necessary.

    Reminds me of when Steve Jobs had just come back to Apple. He’d done some sort of internal presentation to announce some strategy stuff. Next meeting he pointed out that employees’ email had been monitored, some number of engineers had shared the information outside the company, and all had been fired.

    Wake-up call for the rest, big-time.

    • Mo

      Seriously. The number of commenters here, treating this as though it took place at summer camp or something, is saddening.

  • Master of Thumbs

    Maybe the $ generated from the video views can cover their mortgage and other expenses for a few… days? Did she think notoriety pays the bills? It’s as much her fault as shoddy parenting.

  • Billy Razzle

    This was not surprising in the least. Remember when they fired the engineer who showed Woz the first iPad a few hours before it went on sale? You had to know this was coming.

  • John W. Farris

    So much for references.

  • Caleb Hightower
    Never in a million years did I think this would happen.

    And thus, this is at the root of the problem for 99.9% of Millennials out there.

    He takes full responsibility for letting me film his iPhone X

    But do you take full responsibility for your lack of presence-of-mind, Ms. Peterson?

    This reeks of the current prevailing sentiment permeating society’s fabric that anyone is entitled of taking credit for something that doesn’t belong to them. “Hey, look at me, celebrate me because I found this brilliant thing, therefore I deserve credit, accolades, and even some easy ad money for sharing this brilliant idea with you. I’m cool and special because I did absolutely nothing, other than observe what was obvious to all but me. Yay, me!”

    Anyone who has ever created an original ”something’, only to have it stolen and exploited like a …, well you know, knows this is a deep, personal violation.

    • Mo

      Compound that with all the slackjawed maroons who are chorusing “Aw, go easy on them, what’s the big deal?” This incident is something of a litmus test for dissociative entitlement.

  • Loren Finkelstein

    She claims other YouTubers had already done hands-on video’s with the iPhone X. Um, who??? No one has them. Maybe for 1 minute at the demo area at presentation where they were announced.

  • JimCracky

    Privilege has its perks.

  • Chris Hedlund