Apple has released a formal statement asserting its company’s commitments to human rights and freedom of speech. Apple says it believes in the “critical importance of an open society” and “the best way we can continue to promote openness is to remain engaged, even where we may disagree with a country’s laws”.

A group of investors had voiced concerns about how much Apple defers to China’s censorship demands, such as removing VPN apps from the App Store or moving citizen’s iCloud data to Chinese-controlled data centers. However, Apple’s new statement does not really mean it is going to change how it operates. The company says it will follow local laws as it has always done, which means it will have to continue locking down the iPhone and other Apple devices in China, until Chinese laws change.

The sharehold group, named SumOfUs, has repeatedly filed proposals for the yearly Apple investor meeting to force Apple to double-down on freedom of speech commitments. Its proposals have so far failed to garner enough support from voting Apple shareholders.

The group said it has pleased that Apple has released this human rights policy on its own accord. However, they are still campaigning for Apple to release reports on how it is handling institutions that limit free expression, similar to the environmental and supplier responsibility reports that Apple releases annually. It plans to bring this to shareholder vote at the Apple 2021 investor meeting, which is normally held in February.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author