Apple’s top investigator Lee Freedman has departed the company for a new role at Facebook. Freedman previously served as the Director of Worldwide Investigations at Apple.
Freedman, who has a background with the Justice Department, served in the top investigations role since 2011. Freedman is credited with creating Apple’s cyber program where he managed the company’s Cyber Investigations team before being promoted to Director of Investigations.
Put simply, Freedman was responsible for preventing leaks and overseeing Apple’s team of investigators who track down how unreleased information and products escape Apple.
He was also responsible for working with law enforcement on security issues as well as overseeing cargo thefts, retail issues, and other security concerns at Apple.
We learned a lot about Apple’s continuing efforts to prevent leaks last summer when details from an internal meeting on product confidentiality ironically leaked to the press. Revelations included learning that Apple believes more leaks are sourced from Apple’s campus than from the supply chain — despite the opposite appearing true externally.
The briefing also disclosed that Apple bought a whopping 19,000 iPhone 5c enclosures in 2013 to stop the casing from leaking early while the number of stolen enclosures dropped to 387 in 2014, then 57 in 2015, and just four a year later.
Back in 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook brought the company’s legal policies front and center with a company-wide video that urged employees to refresh themselves on Apple’s Business Conduct Policy, presumably because of activity around leaks.
The incident followed Cook’s famous remarks that Apple would ‘double down on secrecy’ in 2012.
Since last summer’s leaked claim that more information comes from Apple’s campus than the supply chain, two prominent leaks have detailed unreleased products and software updates early.
First was the incredible HomePod firmware leak that notably confirmed the iPhone X screen design months ahead of time. This information was extracted from firmware for Apple’s still-unreleased smart speaker that was distributed publicly online.
A version of Apple’s iOS 11 software update also found its way out of Apple last fall and revealed several details including the iPhone X name, Animoji, and the cellular Apple Watch Series 3 design ahead of time.