Skip to main content

Apple voices opposition to security bill that gives government more power to spy on users


Apple this evening has continued its outspoken attitude when it comes to protection of user rights and privacy. The Washington Post reports that the company has spoken out against a controversial cybersecurity bill that, if passed, would give the government a variety of new powers to access user data. Supporters of the bill say that it would protect users from hackers in the long run, but Apple’s not buying it.

Known as the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, it’s expected to be voted on next Tuesday and carries support from both major political parties. Apple, however, says that it does not believe that user security should come at the expense of privacy. Therefore, it does not support the CISA bill.

“We don’t support the current CISA proposal,” Apple said in a statement. “The trust of our customers means everything to us and we don’t believe security should come at the expense of their privacy.”

A variety of other tech companies have spoken out against CISA, as well, including Yelp, Reddit, Twitter, Wikimedia, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. Oregon senator Ron Wyden says that the number of tech companies speaking in opposition to the bill should show legislators that it’s not yet ready for primetime.

“Sharing information about cybersecurity threats is a worthy goal,” said Wyden. “Yet if you share more information without strong privacy protections, millions of Americans will say, ‘That is not a cybersecurity bill. It is a surveillance bill.’ “

 Apple has been voicing its stance on user privacy loud and clear recently. Just yesterday, CEO Tim Cook said that there is no reason for there to be a backdoor for the government to access user data. “No one should have to decide between privacy or security,” Cook said. “We should be smart enough to do both.”
CISA is slated to be voted on next Tuesday, October 27th.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. thecodee - 7 years ago

    This is great news. Glad they’ve changed their mind.

  2. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    My faith in Apple is magnified by factor of 100,000!

    Way to go, Tim!

  3. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    “A variety of other tech companies have spoken out against CISA, as well, including . . . Google. . .”

    Google — really? Their only security worry is keeping their search algorithms safe from prying eyes! Their “security” does not extend to Users Data, as that’s their business model – “Collect and Sell Everything to anyone who’s willing to pay.


    • You’ll find it’s also a healthy part of Apple’s business too. Please do take time to read up on their Terms of Service for iAd. How else do you think you end up with lovely targeted adverts in some iOS apps?

      Let’s not let a little thing like that affect your belief that Apple are whiter than white though shall we. They all do it. It’s a fact of life, get over it, but if you can’t you aren’t forced to use either Apple or Google.

      • Ben Reinhardt - 7 years ago

        I’m sorry but to say that Apple and Google are on the same level of selling users data is truly naive. Most ads in iOS apps aren’t running iAd, as noted by the numerous articles on this site. Selling advertising is not a 1/0 affair just like anything in life. Apple can sell advertising without compromising personal data. I mean google generates data to sell advertising based on the content of your gmail… thats not even comparable to Apple. There is a balance to be struck between selling all data legally possible (google) and using no data at all (unintelligent software) and in my opinion Apple is doing a good job of falling right at a good balance that is using enough data to provide services without too much data or sharing it outside of its own services unless needed.

      • PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

        Read the Fine Print:

        “Because iPhones are location-aware, so are Offers. Offers can be updated to present new messages dynamically, and also triggered with updates specific to a store location via iBeacon. Offers can also be targeted by age, gender, geography, or custom segments built by the marketer, and updated as often as required to keep messages fresh.”

        “iAd’s exclusive targeting capabilities will allow advertisers to refine their audience according to demographics, topics of interest, or even existing customer segments, and deliver targeted ad banners, dramatic full page ads, and high-definition video ads.”

      • yoitssenghy - 7 years ago

        Unfortunately your fine print argument does little to prove anything.. That isn’t selling your data. It is actually pretty standard marketing, advertising, and promotion though (“Offers can also be targeted by age, gender, geography, or custom segments built by the marketer…” and ““iAd’s exclusive targeting capabilities will allow advertisers to refine their audience according to demographics, topics of interest, or even existing customer segments”).

    • Leif Paul Ashley - 7 years ago

      Vast difference in aggregated summary data and YOUR personal data and contacts and phone calls.

    • 9to5mac are android fanboys that’s why they add Google lol

  4. Robert Dupuy - 7 years ago

    The fact that Apple occasionally comes down on the right side of an issue, makes me like them a little bit.

    But they aren’t right about censorship in China. They also don’t believe in giving equal opportunity to everyone by being blind to race and only sensitive to a person’s work ethic and talent.

    But I will applaud them for being right on privacy.

    • Robert Evans - 7 years ago

      A person’s work ethic and talent is all they should be looking at when hiring. That’s all any companies should be looking at.

      • flaviosuave - 7 years ago

        So if we’re both on top of a 100-foot hill, but one of us had to go up on crutches because we were born disadvantaged (without legs), or with a crowd of people throwing rocks at us the whole time (discrimination, lack of education), I’d say the person who got up the hill despite the disadvantages actually has the stronger work ethic, wouldn’t you?

  5. Joseph Frye - 7 years ago

    Why vote so much for liberals when you don’t like the policies they promote?

    • Zeph Rexx - 7 years ago

      Can you reframe you question? I wasn’t sure what you were asking / implying. Maybe this is a reference to a previous post but it’s not clear to me what you meant.

      • 89p13 - 7 years ago

        Or, maybe another troll?

  6. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    I can sort of understand people wanting privacy – but if you have nothing to hide or be guilty of, why should it matter — after all, info stored on your phone could help save you if you are kidnapped, or catch killers and criminals etc etc…

    i dont do anything illegal on my phone – as long as the government are following correct procedures and only access my data IF needed, then i dont see no harm… if they are constantly accessing it and abusing their power, and also make my phone vulnerable, then i will be annoyed…

    • Jason Corbine - 7 years ago

      That’s like saying it’s ok for the government to decide to walk into your house anytime they feel like they want just so they can make sure nothing illegal is going on. As long as you’re doing nothing wrong you shouldn’t mind the government inviting themselves in to go through your personal belongings.

      • Ben Reinhardt - 7 years ago

        I think the other thing to add is who determines what is “you’re not doing anything wrong”. You have to protect your privacies because once you give them up you won’t get them back. So give them free access to all of your information now and when they decide speaking out against the president is not “right” then they have complete access.

    • Ben Reinhardt - 7 years ago

      Your statement “as long as they follow correct procedures” is exactly why Apple and others have issue with this bill. It doesn’t have correct procedures. There are no procedures. If the government and NSA have shown us anything its that if they can collect the data through any loophole or process or maybe even illegally, they will. So the idea that “if” the follow the correct procedures… isn’t happening.

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      Have you not read the Snowden Papers? Or, do you find that to be “UN-Patriotic, because Our Elected Officials Know Best And Can Keep Us Safe?”

  7. cbrenik - 7 years ago

    I’d be interested to see if companies like google (who already sell your information) will side with the government just to screw over Apple’s brand image for competitive reasons

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      You miss one point: With Apple, they HAVE A Product. To Google, YOU (and ALL your data) ARE their Product. People who do not understand that concept will always flock to Google products and say, “WOW – How do they do this for free? Google is a great company!” Like sheep to the slaughter.


  8. Oflife - 7 years ago

    Well done Apple.

  9. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 7 years ago

    Good. One of Apple’s priorities should be to safeguard my private data. Its somewhat sad that they have to keep it safe from our own government, but oh well.


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

Tips, questions, typos to