In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company would not assist FBI officials with unlocking the encrypted iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the December 2015 San Bernardino, Calif. mass shooting. Cook’s statement sparked debate about whether the company should assist authorities with hacking into suspects’ or victims’ cell phones to aid in the collection of evidence. It appears that Apple’s actions have caused some Arizona officials to change their opinions of the tech giant.
In the wake of Apple’s decision, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced that it would no longer allow employees to use iPhones due to Apple’s inaction.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery stated that Apple, as an American corporation, has an obligation to cooperate with federal authorities in any investigation.
Montgomery said that, “if Apple wants to become the official smartphone provider to (the Islamic State) and cartels, there will be a consequence.”
According to an article in The Arizona Republic, Montgomery feels that Apple is using the incident as a publicity stunt. He stated that many investigations in his office have been limited due to the fact that investigators cannot access potential evidence on Apple phones.
Do you think that Apple is using this event to gain publicity? Do you think that Tim Cook’s statement, coupled with reactions of people like Bill Montgomery, will affect Apple’s brand image?