Primary File

Apple Inc.: Data Privacy and a Request from the FBI

Bailey, C., Garland, W., Nitchals, L., O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
January 17, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Marketing & Sales, Information Systems
13 pages
Brand Management, corporate culture, crisis management, customer relations, investor relations, privacy, reputation management, workplace culture
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

In the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015, Apple was required by a federal court order to assist the FBI in unlocking the primary suspect’s iPhone 5c. Apple would need to build a new software program in order to comply with the order, potentially compromising the company’s brand promise regarding the security of customer data. This case examines the importance of customer data privacy to a company’s business model as well as external risk factors related to international politics and terrorism. How can Apple manage the various risks while maintaining the loyalty and trust of its customers?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To encourage discussion on important issues regarding the relationship between consumer data privacy and national security;
  2. To highlight the risk factors for companies related to international politics and terrorism;
  3. To demonstrate the importance of data security to a company’s business model, particularly those in the technology industry;
  4. To provide an example of how unexpected events can impact a company’s brand and reputation;
  5. To encourage an analysis of corporate policymaking and the dangers inherent in abandoning or altering those policies.