Apple has publicly pledged to respect freedom of information and expression, publishing this same vow in a document published on its institutional Human Rights and Supplier Responsibility page.
The publication was influenced by the concerns of a group of shareholders of the Cupertino giant over the alleged inaction in the face of censorship in China. According to the Reuters agency, the removal of VPN solutions from the Chinese App Store was at stake.
Apple defends freedom of information and expression
Imbued with the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document recently published by Apple can be consulted (in PDF), explicitly reinforcing the company’s respect for the aforementioned declaration as part of the company’s mission.
“At Apple, we are optimistic about the incredible potential of technology to achieve good ends. But, we know that this will not happen by itself. Every day we have to work so that the devices we create are imbued with the humanity that characterizes us”, – Tim Cook.
The American company also discusses the sense of responsibility that assists it, as a manufacturer of devices that can change our lives and, above all, improve the daily lives of those who use them.
They again refer to the commitment to user privacy and security, elevated to the highest standard in the industry. Something that extends to all technological products, from the App Store, to the Apple Pay system and, of course, to the iPhone.
Advances and retreats in China
The Reuters agency emphasizes the removal of several VPN applications, used mainly to access blocked content in China, on the local App Store. The attitude was seen as Apple’s complacency towards Chinese censorship.
Facts that motivated the shareholders panel meeting last February, as well as the presentation of a proposal to the company, aiming for a public statement by the technology company. The motion was not approved, but Apple decided to react.
This reaction now comes in the form of a reaffirmation of the company’s commitment to respect for freedom of information and expression, also drinking from the principles that guide the United Nations.
Meanwhile, several human rights activists are asking Apple to cut ties with Chinese suppliers who allegedly use forced labor from the Uighur ethnic minority in their factories.
Criticism of Apple is stiffened by the removal of the application that helped protesters in Hong Kong to monitor movements by police and state officials. In its defense, Apple says the app was used for targeted attacks.
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