Apple is trying to maximise their profits at all costs (patents abuse, green label removal, deplorable working conditions)0
It’s been a pretty bad quarter for Apple, PR wise, if we don’t look at products launches. I’m sure it won’t turn iSheeps into Androids, but it’s still pretty interesting to follow what they’re doing:
- Litigation: Apple is getting more and more aggressive in its use of its ridiculous patents which should never have been awarded in the first place. A good thing for consumers that most of Apple’s attempts in the US have failed.
- Environment: Apple’s product are becoming increasingly difficult to service and recycle and thus are less and less “green”. For this reason, Apple has decided to pull off their products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry. This prevents many large corporations and US governmental agencies from ordering Apple products, but may be more lucrative for Apple who might sell more AppleCare subscriptions to consumers.
- Working conditions: Despite having found illegal working conditions and endemic abuses in its factories and having pledged to fix the situation and obey the law, it seems nothing has changed at Apple’s factories, according to a report by SumOfUs.org titled “Beyond Foxconn : Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain”.
Some “media experts” and some consumers and companies believe that because Apple is curating apps you can find in their apps store, they face a lesser chance of being infected with malware or of using badly written apps which don’t perform well or leak information.
Well, once again (remember Instagram?), a security researcher proved that iOS is missing basic privacy protection mechanisms and that pretending to check apps to protect users is only an excuse to make money by taking a cut of the profit. Apple simply can’t control, in detail, what is in every app they release.
So this time, we have the LinkedIn app which is sending users’ calendar meetings to the LinkedIn servers without the user knowing about it… This can be especially dangerous when things such as conference call phone numbers and passcodes are stored in the event itself. Fortunately, there is a way to turn that feature off, by simply refusing to let LinkedIn show the calendars in the app itself.
But it doesn’t solve the big privacy issues plaguing iOS, a 5 year old OS which was never built to be secure, but to look smooth and to be very easy to use in order to kill Nokia’s Symbian. Apple has tried multiple times to implement enterprise features, but most attempts have failed as it’s simply not in Apple’s DNA to build a secure OS. SMEs and corporations usually have to rely on 3rd party solutions to try and make these devices usable in a business environment.
We already know that Siri is to be avoided by privacy concious individuals since everything that you do is sent to Apple through the Internet, but some small business owners who allow their employees to use iPhones may not be aware of leaks taking place through a service like Siri.
Businesses should follow IBM’s footsteps and ban Siri.
Apple uses iSheeps with no relevant knowledge as experts in its ongoing legal battle against Samsung [FOSS patents]
Google may be rigging online ads and “may be responsible for at least four classes of antitrust violations” in the EU [RWW]
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