Apple publishes new commitment to human rights document
What you need to know
- Apple has published a new human rights document.
- The four-page document outlines Apple's commitment to treating everyone with dignity and respect
- It balances human rights with complying with local laws in some authoritarian countries.
A new Apple document outlines the company's commitment to upholding human rights, freedom of information, and expression.
As reported by the Financial Times:
The report notes the document was approved by the board and "quietly" published prior to a deadline for submitting motions for Apple's next shareholder's meeting.
The document is titled 'Our Commitment to Human Rights' and begins with a quote from Tim Cook:
The document says that Apple is "committed to respecting the human rights of everyone whose lives we touch." Apple says this commitment extends not only to the technology it makes, but its supply chain, and how it treats people.
As noted, the move comes following heavy criticism of Apple for kowtowing to governments such as China and Russia over issues many see as human rights matters. The document notes that Apple, "in keeping with the UN Guiding Principles" will follow the higher standard where national law and international human rights standards differ. However, it also says that Apple will "respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights."
In a press release today, SumOfUs Campaign Manager, Sondhya Gupta stated:
SumOfUs says that with the new document, "Apple meets the first part of SumOfUs's shareholder motion by publicly committing to respect freedom of information and expression as human rights. The campaigners and investors welcomed Apple's new policy, and plan to file a new proposal for next year's shareholder meeting which would require Apple to report to shareholders on the progress the company is making in implementing it."
Around 135,000 people have signed a SumOfUs petition calling for Apple to stop blocking VPN apps in China's App Store. SumOfUs states that Apple has blocked over 1,000 VPN apps at the request of the CCP in China. It is also critical of Apple's sluggish response to new Hong Kong security laws despite more decisive action from several major tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9