Apple: Company Transparency vs National Security Ethics

An issue we have discussed in the past in BGS is company transparency. Many companies struggle with what they reveal to the public about their company. Nike struggled with this in the 90’s and its refusal to be more transparent eventually lead to years of public bashing and upheaval. Recently in the news apple has been struggling to decide how transparent it can, wants to, and eventually will be to the public.

Transparency has become a heated issue that is up for conversation because of recent government issue requests from apple. The amount of government requests ranges in numbers, numbers that Apple has surprisingly vaguely disclosed. The company says

” US requests affected 2,000 to 3,000 accounts, adding it gave out data on zero to 1,000 accounts. This is the first time Apple has shared such data, but it is still not allowed to reveal the exact number of requests relating to US national security.”

These requests deal with serious crime issues, ranging from robberies to missing persons reports. Essentially, the government is requesting access to personal account information from apple customers, that only the apple corporation has access to. Is this an infringement on the privacy of apple customers? Is it necessary for the security of American citizens? Does it bring to conversation a debate between privacy and ethics dealing with national security? Yes.

Apple struggled with the American government  in regards to simply revealing the amount of requests the government made, yet alone the nature of the requests. The government takes these requests very seriously and wants as little information as possible to be disclosed, yet apple struggles to be viewed by its stakeholders as an honest company.

It said it had asked the government to ease these restrictions but so far had not seen any major changes.”Despite our extensive efforts in this area, we do not yet have an agreement that we feel adequately addresses our customers’ right to know how often and under what circumstances we provide data to law enforcement agencies”. Apple said it had filed a letter with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court supporting a group of cases requesting greater transparency.”We will continue to aggressively pursue our ability to be more transparent.”




http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24830712NSA-Logomag 660




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