Obama shuns Apple when talking about tech companies who put privacy first


Having not one but two U.S. presidents in your fan base is pretty good going. Sadly, President Barack Obama is not allowed an iPhone as part of his official wardrobe and is stuck on BlackBerry. That hasn’t stopped him from openly lusting after the iPhone 6 in recent pics, though. He’s also admitted to spending hours each day on his iPad.Photo:
Hey, it's easy to forget bit-part players like Apple.
Photo: Pete Souza/Wikipedia CC

President Obama threw some shade Apple’s way yesterday, failing to mention it as one of the tech companies putting user privacy and security first, while describing his new Cybersecurity National Action Plan.

Obama talked about businesses which “empower Americans” by keeping them safe with extra layers of security like fingerprints scanners — only to then namecheck “companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft… and Visa.”

No mention of the company which actually popularized Touch ID then? No, just checking!

“More and more, keeping America safe is not just a matter of more tanks [and] more aircraft carriers,” Obama said. “[It’s] not just a matter of bolstering our security on the ground. It also requires us to bolster our security online. As we’ve seen in the past few years and just in the past few days, cyber threats pose a danger not only to our national security but also our financial security and the privacy of millions of Americans.”

Of course, no case currently demonstrates this last point more than Apple’s current standoff with the FBI, concerning whether or not it should help the government unlock iPhones by creating an iOS backdoor. However, Obama made no mention of this in his speech.

Apple has also been vocal in appealing to the White House to protect individual privacy rights through strong encryption.

While I’m perfectly willing to accept this may all be an oversight on Obama’s part, you have to admit it’s pretty ironic that — as an alleged Apple fan — Obama wasn’t allowed to use an iPhone during his time in office because of its apparently-lax security features. Then, since Apple did revolutionize its encryption around the time of iOS 8, Obama’s subtly snubbed the company several times — whether it’s being filmed wearing a Fitbit instead of an Apple Watch or debuting his vacation playlists on Spotify instead of Apple Music.

Way to make the world’s most valuable device maker look like an underdog for the first time in years!

Via: BGR

  • Guy

    I don’t think wearing a fitbit or using Spotify would be an active shunning of Apple. There are certainly many good reasons to use those products or services over competing Apple ones. If he doesn’t even mention Apple when talking about protecting user’s data though, that’s odd and probably related to the FBI case I’m sure.

  • yeah i think he simply dint want to get the press saying the president is siding with apple, i am sure thats what the press would interpret this if he did name apple among those companies.

  • prl99

    The issue with using an iPhone has to do more with the government’s overall disdain for any non-Microsoft products than Apple’s inability to provide a secure mobile device. There is very little effort put into documenting the security of Apple devices by the US government. (I spent 33 years dealing with this issue.) Blackberry might still be the only authorized mobile phone for sensitive and classified discussions because it’s the only mobile phone that includes a completely secure system. The iPhone is inherently secure (just ask the FBI) but it doesn’t include the equivalent of a Blackberry server, which handles all the end-to-end encryption. Blackberry is failing but the US government keeps it propped up so they don’t have to spend years documenting a new system. The Blackberry server can handle iPhones but until Apple (bends over and) creates enough backdoors for government use, they will only be allowed in certain agencies for unclassified use. People have to realize that the US government doesn’t move very fast even though they have access (via taxpayers) to the best computing devices in the world.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Obama, security and safety are words that should not be mentioned in the same sentence. No government figure except Hillary Clinton has done more to put our country’s citizens in danger. Even Obama fired her, the resignation card is always what’s used.

    • P-Dog

      Save the right-wing claptrap for a Rush Limbaugh website.

      • Bob Forsberg

        Truth really hurts you Obama fanboys.

  • Jurassic

    Oh, the irony!

  • c_hack

    I would expect nothing else from the fool in the White House.

    • P-Dog

      Go troll at Glen Beck’s fan page.