Shareholders of Apple, Inc. largely backed Apple and CEO Tim Cook in the company's decision to fight a court order to create tools that would bypass security measures in iOS. According to The New York Times, Apple's annual shareholder meeting Friday was, "a striking scene of support for Mr. Cook."
There were some individual shareholders who certainly think Apple is wrong, including one unnamed attendee who told The LA Times, "I do think they should unlock it. For something as serious as this, there should be a way to do it."
Security and encryption experts, however, have long understood that this is a situation where you can't have your cake and eat it to. Encryption is either unbreakable to everyone or accessible to anyone, a point Apple has made in its public statements about this case.
This was an issue that 80-year old Ann Hobbs of Morro Bay, CA, seemed to understand. A first-time attendee of Apple's shareholder meeting, Ms. Hobbs told The LA Times she was "totally backing" Apple CEO Tim Cook.
"Once they open that phone," she said, "it's the beginning of the end of privacy."
To that end, Mr. Cook told shareholders, "[Apple is] a staunch advocate for our customers' privacy and personal safety. We do these things because they are the right things to do. Being hard doesn't scare us."
The comment drew applause from shareholders according to multiple reports.
Investor Reverend Jesse Jackson—who has been critical of Apple in the past over the company's lack of diversity on its board of directors—had praise for Tim Cook and Apple's actions this year. The New York Times quoted him as saying:
Where we stand in times of controversy is a measure of our character. Some leaders only follow opinion polls. Others stand up for their principles, refuse to compromise, and mold opinion. We have such a leader of Apple, Tim Cook.
The LA Times added that Reverend Jackson called the court order an "unprecedented government overreach."
Odds and Sods
- Shareholders rejected four shareholder proposals (technically just preliminary results)
- Shareholders reelected Apple's board of directors (also technically just preliminary results)
- Apple bought 19 companies during the last year
- Tim Cook remains bullish on the potential of Chinese market
- A pay study found that women at Apple earn 99.6 cents for every $1 earned by men (the national average was 78.6 cents in 2014)
- Underrepresented minorities earned 99.7 cents for every dollar earned by white employees
- Tim Cook pledged to eradicate the remaining discrepancy
Shares of $AAPL rose slightly to close at US$96.91 per share, a gain of $0.15 (+0.16 percent), on light volume of 29 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.