Apple’s CEO Must Fly Private Aircrafts For Security Reasons

Apple’s board has instructed chief executive Tim Cook to use only private aircraft “in the interests of security and efficiency” at the world’s most valuable company, regulatory documents show.

A filing with securities regulators during the week said the board determined that its CEO must use private aircraft for “all business and personal travel.”

The policy was implemented in 2017 “in the interests of security and efficiency based on our global profile and the highly visible nature of Mr. Cook’s role as CEO.”

The filing noted that the value of the private flights is calculated as “imputed taxable income” which is not reimbursed by Apple.

The filing showed Cook received some $12.8 million in compensation for 2017, including a salary of $3 million and incentive awards.

Cook took home far less than other top Apple executives including chief financial officer Luca Maestri and senior vice president Angela Ahrendts, who received some $24 million for the year.

Yet Cook’s previous stock awards vested in 2017 were worth an additional $89 million for the CEO, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The market capitalization for the iPhone maker has been hovering around $900 billion and is up nearly 50 percent for the year.

 

New IPhone Comes With Face Recognition (And Fears)

Apple will let you unlock the iPhone X with your face — a move likely to bring facial recognition to the masses, along with concerns over how the technology may be used for nefarious purposes.

Apple’s newest device, set to go on sale November 3, is designed to be unlocked with a facial scan with a number of privacy safeguards — as the data will only be stored on the phone and not in any databases.

iPhone X

Unlocking one’s phone with a face scan may offer added convenience and security for iPhone users, according to Apple, which claims its “neural engine” for FaceID cannot be tricked by a photo or hacker.

While other devices have offered facial recognition, Apple is the first to pack the technology allowing for a three-dimensional scan into a hand-held phone.

But despite Apple’s safeguards, privacy activists fear the widespread use of facial recognition would “normalize” the technology and open the door to broader use by law enforcement, marketers or others of a largely unregulated tool.

“Apple has done a number of things well for privacy but it’s not always going to be about the iPhone X,” said Jay Stanley, a policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union.

“There are real reasons to worry that facial recognition will work its way into our culture and become a surveillance technology that is abused.”

A study last year by Georgetown University researchers found nearly half of all Americans in a law enforcement database that includes facial recognition, without their consent.

Civil liberties groups have sued over the FBI’s use of its “next generation” biometric database, which includes facial profiles, claiming it has a high error rate and the potential for tracking innocent people.

“We don’t want police officers having a watch list embedded in their body cameras scanning faces on the sidewalk,” said Stanley.

Clare Garvie — the Georgetown University Law School associate who led the 2016 study on facial recognition databases — agreed that Apple is taking a responsible approach but others might not.

“My concern is that the public is going to become inured or complacent about this,” Garvie said.

Guardian

Apple To Tighten iPhone Security After FBI Breach

Apple Inc. said on Tuesday that it would increase security on its iPhones, following the breach by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after numerous weeks of back and forth engagements.

A court order by FBI had initially compelled Apple to create a backdoor for accessing the files on the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino shooter who killed 14 people in the US in December 2015.

Apple refused to “obey” the court order, saying it would create a dangerous precedence and breach many iPhones across the globe.

In a statement by Eileen Decker, the top federal prosecutor in California, the Ministry of Justice said investigators had received the help of “a third party” in unlocking the sophisticated phone.

“It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails,” the statement read.

The Justice Department said it had “now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer required the assistance from Apple.

“Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the order compelling Apple Inc. to assist agents in search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated,” it said.

On the other hand, Apple said the FBI should not have made the demand in the first place.
“From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent.

“As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.”
Apple said it would “continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated”.
Apple is said to have patented one of the best security systems in the world.

Apple Goes Small For New iPhone, iPad

Apple went small on Monday — cutting prices as well as screen size — as it unveiled a new iPhone and iPad aimed at first-time buyers and customers in emerging markets.

The new launches came as the FBI moved to postpone a high-profile court battle with the US government on encryption and data protection, saying it may have a way to break into an iPhone at the heart of that case.

On Sunday, “an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking (Syed) Farook’s iPhone,” prosecutors said in a filing asking a federal judge in Southern California to delay a hearing set for Tuesday.

“If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.”

Apple chief executive Tim Cook stressed that protecting privacy is an obligation the tech giant “will not shrink from.”

A new iPhone SE will debut at $399 for US customers without a contract subsidy, a significant cut from the price of Apple’s larger iPhones.

Apple sold 30 million of its other small-screen iPhones in 2015, company vice president Greg Joswiak said, showing that many customers like the compact size — despite the trend toward bigger displays.

“Some people really love smaller phones,” Joswiak told the low-key event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, unveiling the aluminum handset with upgraded specifications and other features including Apple Pay.

“In some countries like China, for a majority of these customers, it is their first iPhone.”

The new iPhone model has strong potential in international markets beyond China, particularly in India, according to Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin.

Even though the price tag is higher than low-cost Android handsets that dominate the market, it puts the cherished Apple brand within better reach to people in developing economies.

“It will be a good winner for them,” Bajarin said of the iPhone SE.

“While China is still growing, I think their next big market is India and this is a good first step toward an India focus.”

The iPhone SE will be aimed at first-time Apple buyers and those who want to upgrade from the iPhone 5S and 5C, which have not been updated in over two years. The iPhone 6S, the lowest-cost handset in the large-screen family, starts at $649.

Also unveiled at the event was a new iPad Pro that moves smaller — a 9.7-inch (24.6-centimeter) display compared with the 12.9-inch (32.8-centimeter) model on the original business-geared tablet.

“It is a large enough display to get all your work done, but easy to carry around,” said Apple vice president Phil Schiller.
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The smaller, new iPad starts at $599 for US customers, down from around $800 for the original.

Apple took direct aim at Windows-powered personal computers, noting the large number of machines that are five or more years old but still in use.

The iPad Pro has always been aimed at the business market, but “this is the first I have heard Apple say they were going after the PC crowd,” Bajarin said.

Apple will be taking orders Thursday for the new phone and tablet, with deliveries set for March 31, in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore, with more markets to be added in April.

Apple is seeking “to kickstart the upgrade cycles for both iPhones and iPads,” said Jan Dawson at Jackdaw Research.

“There’s considerable evidence that some of those who own smaller iPhones are holding onto them rather than upgrading to the new, larger iPhones.”

Dawson said in a blog post that he sees “significant pent-up demand within Apple’s base of iPhone owners who want a smaller iPhone with up-to-date specs and newer features.”

But he added that “this pricing doesn’t get the iPhone down to the kind of prices needed to really spur sales in emerging markets.”

Apple also announced it was cutting the entry-level price for its Apple Watch to $299 from $349 as it unveiled a new nylon band for the device.

Apple has not released sales figures for the smartwatch but analysts have said it has become the market leader.

Cook used the unveiling to reiterate his views on encryption and data protection.

“We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy,” he said.

“We believe strongly we have an obligation to help protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers. We will not shrink from this responsibility.”

The US government said it may have found a way to crack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers without Apple’s help, potentially averting a major showdown that could have wide ramifications on digital security and privacy.

A hearing had been set for Tuesday but a California judge granted the government’s request for a delay — with a status report now due April 5 — based on the new developments.

Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, has argued that the FBI is seeking a “back door” into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December massacre that left 14 people dead.

The US Justice Department argues that its “modest” demand could help reveal vital evidence in a terror case.