We believe that dialogue and commitment are the best ways to work towards building a better world. In line with the UN’s guiding principles, where national legislation and international human rights standards are different, we follow the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while trying to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights.
This is not exactly news. In some cases such as end-to-end encryption, Apple stands by the principle. In others, it chooses not to push back. When it comes to the availability of iOS apps, Apple’s highest principle is that Apple, not the user, decides what can be installed. And this makes it subject to government control.
The Financial Times reports that Apple̵7;s board approved the policy and published it ahead of the September 5 deadline for shareholders to submit proposals for next year’s investor meeting.
The commitment comes seven months after some of Apple’s shareholders defied management and supported a proposal from a group of consumer advocates called SumOfUs that would have forced it to maintain freedom of expression globally. Apple allegedly tried to turn the proposal off the agenda, but was denied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Apple has faced increasing pressure from investors on its relationship with China and its tendency to join Beijing’s demands. Last year, for example, Apple removed the app for the news outlet Quartz from China’s App Store after complaints from the authorities that it included content that was illegal in the country.
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