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50 Million Reasons for Document Protection

A few months ago, we released a comic strip about a fictional technology company named Tomato, to demonstrate the need for technology companies to protect their confidential information. Needless to say, “Tomato” was inspired by a real company also named after a round, red fruit. The comic was intended as a lighthearted way to illustrate a serious problem, but we recently found out that the real “Tomato” takes confidentiality much more seriously than even we had thought.

A Business Insider article from October 17 reveals the conditions of confidentiality and other agreements between Apple and a supplier, GT Advanced. The documents became public as part of GT Advanced’ bankruptcy proceedings, and specify among other things, damages that the supplier must pay to Apple if any confidential information is breached; $50,000,000. Yes, fifty million dollars in damages each time Apple information is compromised.

Although we have been advocating protection of confidential and private information, Apple’s demands are over the top. Rather than demand crippling punishment, perhaps Apple should have used HoGo, and required its suppliers to do the same. HoGo protects the actual document files that contain sensitive information, even after they have been downloaded onto a personal computer or mobile device, so that only authorized people can view the contents. If a file is lost or stolen, it can be remotely disabled thus providing a technological solution to document protection rather than just legal threats.

So, if you do business with Apple, perhaps you should consider using HoGo… or risk paying 50 million big ones if a laptop goes missing...

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