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Case Code: CLBE026
Case Length: 4 pages 
Period: 2015-2016  
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject : Business Ethics
Organization :Apple Inc., FBI
Industry : Mobile Handsets
Countries : United States

Apple's Battle with the FBI: Privacy vs National Security



Apple Inc. (Apple), the world’s biggest tech company updated its privacy policy and security features during the launch of the iOS 8 in 2014. In order to protect its customer’s data privacy, Apple refused to provide information to FBI from a phone used by a terrorist involved in San Bernardino terrorist attack in December 2015. However, FBI accessed data from terrorist’s iPhone with the help of professional hackers. This news brought new challenges for Cook and his team to find and fix the flaw that had allowed hackers to crack the passcode and protect customers’ privacy. The case provides information for not only discussing the future of Apple’s privacy strategy but also the ethical issues behind Apple’s decision.
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  • Debate on decision taken by Apple Management to not to cooperate with FBI in its counter terrorism initiatives.
  • Discuss on the strategy to be adopted by Apple to come out with better ways to protect customer privacy and build its brand.
Apple Inc. (Apple), the biggest tech company in the world and one of the most reputed, was started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 with the objective of producing and selling computers. Over a period of time, the company ventured into consumer electronics, software, and digital distribution of media content. It gave the world the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, and the Mac book. Apple’s products were known for their stunning looks, unmatched performance, and amazing features..


FBI, Apple, iOS 8, iPhone, Privacy Policy, Encryption, Tim Cook, National Security, All Writs Act

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