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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Apple vs. Feds: Is iPhone Privacy a Basic Human Right?

 HBS Case

Apple vs. Feds: Is iPhone Privacy a Basic Human Right?

26 MAY 2022| by Avery Forman

Leaders today must be ready to take a stand on thorny social and political issues. A case study by Nien-hê Hsieh and Henry McGee examines how Apple CEO Tim Cook turned calls for data access into a rallying cry for privacy, and the complexities that followed.

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t come to his post with an activist agenda, yet when law enforcement officials began pressuring the company to hand over iPhone users’ data without their permission, Cook took what he believed was a moral stance to protect consumers’ privacy.

He knew taking this position would embroil the company in an ugly fight—one that risked alienating some shareholders—but he felt strongly that Apple should champion its customers’ basic human right to privacy.

“We believe that a company that has values and acts on them can really change the world,” Cook said in 2015, a year after Apple debuted new privacy measures that blocked law enforcement from accessing its customers’ data. “There is an opportunity to do work that is infused with moral purpose.” He said shareholders who were only looking for a return on investment “should get out of the stock.”  .... ' 

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