policy January 21

AAPL: 96.30

-0.49
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California is now presenting a new bill that, if passed into law, would stop Apple from selling iPhones on its home turf, via ZDNet. The bill requires smartphone manufacturers to sell devices that have backdoors to allow them to be decrypted. Naturally, this affects iPhones which use high-strength security methods and make it practically impossible for anyone including Apple to gain access without the passcode. If this proposed bill sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. A nearly identical proposition was made in New York state earlier in the month.

Although the bill is only being proposed and isn’t law at this time, it poses a big issue for Apple which is facing pressure from politicians across the US to relax its stance on privacy in favor of security. The California case is especially problematic given the location of Apple’s HQ. It would be very awkward if Apple was barred from selling iPhones in the state where they’re designed.

expand full story

policy November 17, 2015

AAPL: 113.69

-0.49
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Nobody who watched the news coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris could fail to be moved by the scenes and the stories emerging from it. It was undeniably a horrific series of events, and it’s only human nature to want action to be taken to reduce the likelihood of future such atrocities.

But there is always a danger at such times that emotion, rather than rational thought, will drive government policy-making. I won’t get into the broader theme there, as there are more appropriate forums for that, but there is one aspect that is very much on-topic for us: the battle between Apple and governments over encryption.

There have already been unattributed reports that the terrorists in Paris used encrypted communication. I have no idea whether there is any specific evidence for that, but it would hardly be damning were such evidence to emerge: it would be frankly astonishing if they hadn’t.

There are three reasons why Apple is right to maintain that it will continue to offer end-to-end encrypted communication no matter how much governments in the USA, UK and elsewhere may protest …  expand full story

policy November 3, 2015

AAPL: 122.57

1.39
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With Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other services transforming the way people carry out transactions, Apple has joined forces with four other companies to ensure that lawmakers don’t end up ‘inadvertently’ stifling innovation in the financial services field.

Technology industry leaders Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now, a coalition that will promote policies to help foster greater innovation in financial services.

While the new organization uses relatively diplomatic language, it’s pretty clear that the aim is to ensure that politicians don’t screw things up by introducing poorly thought-out legislation, like the infamous example proposed by Democratic Rep. Joshua Peters …  expand full story

9to5toys 

policy October 8, 2015

AAPL: 109.50

-1.28
Stock Chart

AT&T was officially granted an FCC waiver this week to enable Wi-Fi calling for its customers with supported devices like iPhones running iOS 9. Wi-Fi Calling first appeared during the iOS 9 beta period and remained functional for those who enabled it previously, but AT&T stopped sign-ups for the feature once iOS 9 was publicly released due to requirements set by the Federal Communications Commission.

While AT&T has officially turned on Wi-Fi calling for its subscribers, the carrier is doubling down on its position that rivals T-Mobile and Sprint have deployed and marketed Wi-Fi calling features for a while without proper FCC approval. At issue with the FCC is how Wi-Fi calling lacks support for teletypewriter (TTY) devices. And although AT&T has been cleared to turn on Wi-Fi calling without meeting that requirement, it wants in FCC investigation into its competitors’ behavior. expand full story

policy March 30, 2015

While health tech has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency will be taking “an almost hands-off approach” to fitness-oriented wearables like the Apple Watch, says policy advisor Bakul Patel in an interview in Bloomberg.

“We are taking a very light touch, an almost hands-off approach,” Patel, the FDA’s associate director for digital health, said in an interview. “If you have technology that’s going to motivate a person to stay healthy, that’s not something we want to be engaged in.”

Patel said the FDA would be drawing a distinction between products whose health claims focused on fitness rather than diagnosis …  expand full story

policy July 11, 2014

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, President Barack Obama is set to announce a new program called “SupplierPay” to help boost small businesses, and Apple is one of the 26 companies listed as having already signed on.

The program intends to send money down the supply chain and help strengthen contractors and smaller businesses by giving them access to lower-cost capital and thereby opening up opportunities for hiring more workers. This, the White House hopes, will increase investments at the small business level as well. expand full story

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