Over the past few years, we\u2019ve witnessed numerous cases of intellectual property theft (IP theft) involving a number of Silicon Valley companies. Apple was among them, with the company catching 27 individuals leaking\/sharing internal information during 2017. All of them lost their jobs, and 12 were arrested. Here's a look at a few of the incidents.Apple intellectual property leaksInadvertent disclosureIn October 2017, an Apple engineer found himself out of a job after he brought his daughter to work and she filmed the then prototype iPhone X. The engineer\u2019s daughter posted a video of her experience accompanying dad to the office, and it included the embargoed phone. The dad was asked to leave Apple's employ. His daughter made a subsequent video where she implored others to pay attention to rules\u00a0and don\u2019t make the same mistake she made, which cost her father his job.Criminal intent?Similarly, in 2010, an engineer took the iPhone 4 out to dinner and lost the phone. The individual was invited out the door when the device was ultimately shared with the public. Also in 2010, several Apple employees in China were found guilty of having stolen Apple information and peddling it before the official release of a number of devices.Openness is good, except when it isn'tThen there is the instance when Apple source code found its way into Github earlier in 2018. How did the iBoot source code find its way to Github? An intern shared the code with five friends who were active in iPhone jailbreak groups. Clearly a case of \u201cWhen employee access exceeds trust, IP goes missing.\u201dPay attention \u2014 IP is your responsibility to protectTo that end, in mid-April Apple sent about an internal memo (full text provided below via Bloomberg). The memo admonished employees to remember that their livelihood depends on the company being competitive and the intellectual property of the company protected.An unidentified Apple employee was \u201ccaught and fired\u201d after having leaked internal confidential information. \u201cOne person betrayed their trust.\u201d\u00a0 The emphasis on the trust provided by Apple to their insiders is recurring \u2014 as is the fact that employees are breaking that trust, reminding all of the Github leak.The memo also embraces the need for vigilance with social network engagement \u2014 admonishing employees not to overshare information and be alert for attempts to elicit information.Apple memo:Last month, Apple caught and fired the employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apple\u2019s software roadmap. Hundreds of software engineers were in attendance, and thousands more within the organization received details of its proceedings. One person betrayed their trust.The employee who leaked the meeting to a reporter later told Apple investigators that he did it because he thought he wouldn\u2019t be discovered. But people who leak \u2014 whether they\u2019re Apple employees, contractors or suppliers \u2014 do get caught and they\u2019re getting caught faster than ever.In many cases, leakers don\u2019t set out to leak. Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and begin to pry for information. While it may seem flattering to be approached, it\u2019s important to remember that you\u2019re getting played. The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apple\u2019s secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose.The impact of a leak goes far beyond the people who work on a project.Leaking Apple\u2019s work undermines everyone at Apple and the years they\u2019ve invested in creating Apple products. \u201cThousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release,\u201d says UIKit lead Josh Shaffer, whose team\u2019s work was part of the iOS 11 leak last fall. \u201cSeeing it leak is devastating for all of us.\u201dApple has been consistently hard-nosed about protecting their IP. And hard-nosed is exactly what every entity should be when it comes to protecting their intellectual property from IP theft. Even when the theft was inadvertent. In the above examples, the employees who put the IP at risk or exposed the IP.For those who choose to leak company information, you can do it. But you will be held both responsible and accountable for leaking the information.