Apple spends millions lobbying lawmakers about tax

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money
Here's what Apple spends money on when it lobbies Congress.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When it comes to lobbying Congress, Apple’s biggest focus by far is on tax laws. Out of 236 lobbying reports since 2005, tax is mentioned in a massive 76%.

This is one takeaway from a new report, analyzing lobbying spend from the big five tech giants, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Between them, they have spent $582 million on lobbying since 2005. According to the report, Apple spent $9.6 million on lobbying last year, and $59.9 million since 2005.

Apple spent millions lobbying Trump administration in 2018

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Apple's spend is nothing compared to some of its tech rivals, however.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple spent $6.6 million lobbying Congress and other federal officials in 2018, newly released records show. While that’s approximately in line with the $7 million it spent in 2017, it’s considerably less than the amount spent by some of Apple’s FAANG rivals.

During the same period, Facebook spent $12.6 million, Amazon spent $14.2 million, and Google — the biggest lobbyist by far — spent a massive $21 million. That’s an increase on Google’s $18 million spend in 2017.

Proposed privacy legislation outlaws some Google business practices

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Apple takes privacy seriously
A statement on Apple’s stance toward privacy is baked into iOS.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) published a draft privacy bill this morning that proposes making it harder for companies to track people’s location or collect biometric information about them. 

Apple is a top donor to the CDT, and the company has taken a strong stance on protecting user’s privacy.

We read Apple’s 19-page privacy declaration so you don’t have to

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
Among other iPhone privacy topics, Apple explained to U.S. lawmakers that if your iPhone is tracking you, it's because you've given it permission to.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Privacy has become a hot-button issue, and a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives recently sent Apple some questions about iPhone privacy protections. These were about location tracking, audio recordings, and third-party applications.

The in-depth responses spell out Apple’s strong commitment to iPhone user’s privacy in all these areas.

Congress criticizes FBI quest for iPhone ‘backdoor’

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The FBI took some Congressional-strength flack today for wanting an iPhone backdoor for law enforcement.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr CC

Congress has called the FBI on the carpet for its attempt to require Apple to build a backdoor into the iPhone. A letter went out today from a bi-partisan group of representatives  accusing the law enforcement agency of over-stating difficulties in unlocked iPhones involved in crimes.

The ten congresspeople wrote that the FBI deliberately didn’t explore all the options to unlock the iPhone belonging to a mass shooter because they wanted an excuse to force Apple to modify iOS so it’s easy for law enforcement to access.

Tim Cook teams up with Charles Koch to fight for dreamers

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Tim Cook
Cook and Koch aren't usually homies.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch are usually on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but the two business titans are coming together to support a common cause: The Dreamers.

In a rare opinion piece authored by Cook and Koch, the two implore Congress to act now so that this holiday season isn’t the last one in the United States for 690,000 of our neighbors.

Tim Cook promises employees to work with Congress to help Dreamers

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook greeting employees at CTS.
Photo: Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a new letter this morning pledging to help fight for the protection of his employees who are now at risk of being deported.

The letter comes just hours after Donald Trump’s administration revealed plans to officially rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the next six months. If Trump’s plan goes through, hundreds of Apple employees who are Dreamers could be forced out of the country. In his email, Cook says he’ll work with members of Congress from both parties to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Read Tim’s inspiring note to employees: