What Should Apple Do?

Last week, Bruce Schneier kindly agreed to participate in a quorum we were putting together on the now-infamous incident in which an Apple employee apparently left a new prototype iPhone in a California bar. Our quorum didn’t come together, but Schneier has posted his excellent response on his blog. “Apple needs to fix its security problem,” he concludes, “but only after it figures out where the problem is.”[%comments]

Eve, from Eden.

Apple should get to the core of this, and if something seedy took place, the crime will bear its fruit.


I don't think that this was so much a breech of security but a planned 'accident' or leak.
I mean, someone just "happens" to bring the phone to a bar where they "forget" it and a tech savvy person just 'happens" to find it and can identify it as a new iPhone prototype, knows who to contact for the leak?
Just seems far too coincidental to me.
I suspect that it's a brilliant marketing tactic - I know lots of people that are putting of replacing phones because they know that Apple is coming out with a new and improved iPhone this summer and that's on their wish list.

Kirk Strobeck

Policy shouldn't create scars.

Apple hasn't seen this type of breach before and they shouldn't anticipate it in the future. I hope Apple will chalk it up to a fluke and move along, otherwise we can anticipate less inspired development, slower timelines, and obviously, inadequate real-world testing.


I love how Apple is seen as so powerful and omniscient that even when they make a mistake it's seen as a brilliant display of intentional marketing.


If this had been an Android phone or a Palm, I would be saying the same thing. Just too coincidental and bizarre to be a 'real' breach in my opinion. It's not like tech specs were mailed in my a disgruntled ex employee. This was found in a bar!!

Walt French

Apple took a risk by allowing a human being to field-test a prototype.

They mitigated the risk by camouflaging it as an oh-so-common iPhone. It seems the mitigation largely succeeded in that the phone was solidly bricked before any unusual behavior was detected.

In a well-functioning society-one that I'd like to live in-Apple would have received the phone back intact inside of 24 hours. Coincidentally, a co-worker lost his (original) iPhone a week earlier; he'd sure like IT returned, as would we all if we were in the circumstance.

But the police now allege that illegal activity caused it to be diverted, to be disassembled and a few of its secrets spilled. And we're celebrating what?

Drift Marlo

There is no way this was an accident. Just saying.

Bill McGonigle

C'mon, Apple isn't going to involve a police raid in a PR stunt. Then again, how much could they be fined for doing so?


Of course this was not an accident. There was nothing brilliant about it either: it's not like "accidentally" leaking information is anything new or difficult. And Apple is most certainly not seen as powerful and omniscient. It is perceived as a manufacturer of not very functional devices that give the childish crowd, predominantly in the U.S., the feeling of being very cool. The grown-ups' version of smoking in high school bathroom. The funniest part is that the fans believe others, too, regard them as rebels. Wake up, people. You are about as rebellious and cool as 12-y.o. "vampires" with oh-so-menacing plastic teeth.

Disclaimer: It *is* ok to use Apple products if you have reasons to do so that don't make you look like an idiot. It is not ok to pretend it is anything more than, say, choosing a Sony television over a Samsung television or the other way around.


@ Tim @ J.: I definitely think something fishy was going on with this. This is a company that is so secretive that it forces engineers to cover their projects with black cloth. Even employees don't know about other group's projects.

Here's a good article from Apple Insider:

A. Guler

I heard some talking heads in the Times Cast say, pompously I must add, "Apple should not end up in the wrong side of 1984 commercial", obviously referring to "big brother".

This is very backward thinking. These two people think it is a free publicity for Apple.

Let's think straight; Apple has a teams of hundreds of well-paid Engineers, developers, ergonomics experts, etc., trying to outdo the competition and keep their distance from them by expending millions of dollars. That is their investment, future profitability and bread and butter.

And you as Times reporters justify stolen property, disclosure of trade secrets of a serious innovator by some con artist in the name of "news reporting".

You better go to school, and take a few more courses including some ethics classes and promise not to yield thievery.

I heard cheap shots before but this takes the cake.

Abetting is the thing you do in an episode crime where "aiding and abetting" is involved.

Steve Jobs should spare no $ to get these people where they belong to the state penitentiary.



You might believe it was a stunt for publicity, until the police got involved at Apple's request. If Apple were the true source of the action, then they would be playing a very dangerous game.