Apple definitely does make some commendable decisions, but I think it's also important to distinguish between bravery and what Ben Thompson calls "Strategy Credits" (https://stratechery.com/2013/strategy-credit/):
> Strategy Credit: An uncomplicated decision that makes a company look good relative to other companies who face much more significant trade-offs.
Do they have any information about enterprise apps? As I understand it, Apple never phones home with app info (such as the identifier, name, etc) when verifying or installing enterprise-signed apps, so the only thing they know is probably the IP address requesting to verify the enterprise-signed app and the frequency of how often Apple devices do this certificate verification.
Considering FB and Google have many employees in all different parts of the world, it wouldn't be too suspicious to see a good amount of diversity between GeoIP regions.
Correct me if i'm wrong about what info Apple collects about enterprise apps.
Anyway I wholehartedly agree with you here and I think Apple genuinely had no knowledge of this activity until news outlets reported on it. Or if they did, it did not make its way to the higher-ups that revoke developer certs.
In fact, the world around you will bend to meet your values whether you’re even aware of it. And that includes any companies you run.
The world does extend beyond your knowledge of it.
Otherwise, it only takes one person to short-circuit that value to set the ball rolling on a shift towards lower standards.
You need to run a super tight ship, which I think is not as hard as it sounds until you put VC, investment, and shareholders into the mix. You at least need to be super diligent about those people you bring in who are not accountable to you, but you are accountable to them.
Basecamp is an amazing example of a company that has succeeded without compromising itself a jot. They do all kinds of things that we might consider unthinkable because they won’t budge on their values. Probably the one company I’d drop everything to work for if I had a chance at getting through their hiring process.
This tends to further degrade as new employees are added and any whatever original vision was going on continues to degrade over time. Especially as both the times and even business models change.
Nonsense - this is a solved problem. You simply need to remove the ability to make defined classes of bad decisions by binding the company's future decision making capability with a Ulysses pact. Cory Doctorow gave a good talk about using Ulysses pacts in the tech industry.
>> It's not that you don't want to lose weight when you raid your Oreo stash in the middle of the night. It's just that the net present value of tomorrow's weight loss is hyperbolically discounted in favor of the carbohydrate rush of tonight's Oreos. If you're serious about not eating a bag of Oreos your best bet is to not have a bag of Oreos to eat. Not because you're weak willed. Because you're a grown up. And once you become a grown up, you start to understand that there will be tired and desperate moments in your future and the most strong-willed thing you can do is use the willpower that you have now when you're strong, at your best moment, to be the best that you can be later when you're at your weakest moment.
>> The answer to not getting pressure from your bosses, your stakeholders, your investors or your members, to do the wrong thing later, when times are hard, is to take options off the table right now.
This shouldn't be a problem for anybody that actually wants the moral outcome. Why would any=body insist on preserving the option to behave badly in the future unless that bad behavior is part of their future plans?
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlN6wjeCJYk (transcript: https://d3j.de/2016/06/24/cory-doctorow-how-stupid-laws-and-... )
Companies lack unified decision making. The founders can’t predict every moral choice any employee will make. And for any large organization the CEO has no idea what most of the day to day decisions involve.
Consider something as simple as an old brick company setting up an email server for the first time. That opens up a host of choices management likely had zero idea even exist.
I think once a company develops a reputation like that, most people just get desensitised to it. Also there is a degree to which lower cost products get a pass, because hey, they must be cutting corners somewhere.
We should still reward/praise companies who make decisions that are morally superior to their competitors, regardless of whether the morality itself was a primary motivation.
Humans might have too short lifespans, memories and limited rationality for the long term benefit of morality to be strongly in our individual self interest though... one of the possible benefits of anti-aging and cognitive enhancement tech is it might incentivize us to be more moral all other things equal as a side effect.
1) Public sentiment is hammering companies for perceived privacy violations
2) Our business model does not rely heavily on selling user data
3) Make public statements about how much we value privacy at literally no cost to us
4) Get in a good dig at our competition at the same time