Apple’s “Secret Police” Chief Resigns
Apple’s head of security has resigned following several high-profile leaks that caused much negative publicity for the company.
John Theriault stepped down as Vice President of Global Security after four years at Apple. Theriault is a former FBI agent, and was formerly in charge of security for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
In just more than a year, Apple employees twice lost secret iPhone prototypes at San Francisco-area bars. The first episode resulted in an unreleased iPhone 4G being sold to a tech blog; both caused embarrassing investigations and revelations about whether Apple employees posed as police or tried to force their way into a suspect’s apartment, and whether local police departments acted inappropriately on Apple’s behalf.
In 2009, Gizmodo reported on Theriault’s internal security teams. They are officialy called Worldwide Loyalty Teams, and unofficially called “Apple Gestapo,” referring to the Nazi’s police force. According to a former Apple employee, the teams can lock down entire departments and go through every employees’ personal files until they find what they are looking for.
Apple has faced criticism for having a strict corporate culture that deviates from its quirky, personable public image. Software developers have criticized the company’s lack of openness; and human rights advocates have described deplorable conditions at Apple factories in China.
What do you think? Should Theriault’s departure start a more open culture at Apple?