After getting a new iPhone that had test pictures inside the Chinese factory where is was made, Mike Daisey was intrigued to learn more about the individuals who actually make the Apple products (and Dell, and many others). Daisey recently told his story on This American Life radio about his trip to China to see the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen that had about 400,000 workers. He discovered that children, no more than 12 years old work on the assembly lines, slept in Foxconn dorms, and there were many suicides. Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) have challenged Apple, and other computer companies, for abusing workers for working too many hours and using toxic chemicals among many abuses.

Daisey’s story probably helps explain why so many cell devices and computers are made in China where the laws do not protect children as SACOM claims. So it seems that modern technology is not so clean and has an uglier side that we don’t hear much about.