Yesterday we heard the tragic news that Sun Danyong (25), an engineer working for Foxconn, committed suicide over the loss of a prototype 4th generation iPhone. Apple's security has always been very tight, and they expect the same level of discretion from any companies that hope to work with them. As a result, Foxconn was overzealous in their attempts to find the lost smartphone. It has been alleged that some of their security officials even tortured the young engineer.
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And now it appears that there is something to those allegations. The Hon Hai Group, who owns Foxconn, has just ordered the suspension of a security official apparently involved in the interrogation. Hon Hai stated that they do not know why Sun committed suicide, but that they had looked into the details of the investigation Foxconn carried out. They stated that they never gave authorization for anything illegal, and sent their condolences out to the young man's family.
Apple was also quick to issue condolences. As they told CNET,
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death. We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."
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There's no reason to question Apple's sincerity here, and I doubt they'd even been informed of the lost iPhone at the time of Sun's questioning. It does seem very likely now that Foxconn used several illegal techniques when carrying out their investigation. That's not exactly surprising, and I wouldn't be at all shocked to find out the misbehavior was confined to Foxconn. It sounds like this whole tragedy was the result of the company panicking about losing face with Apple.