Ignorantium
More reactive than flourine. Funnier than boron.
The 4th Amendment needs an app

Am I alone in finding this an incredibly disturbing story? Apple sent investigators to search a private residence for its missing iPhone 5 prototype. The San Francisco Police Department stood outside while it happened (according to the SFPD’s own account).

The person whose home was searched believed the people searching his home and car were either with, or working under the authority of, the SFPD. He didn’t have to do that without a warrant, but he was cooperating with the police and he knew he was innocent.

Most of us want to help the police. But instead of the SFPD going into his home the Apple investigators conducted the search. (I could actually understand the SFPD conducting the search with the help of someone from Apple helping them identify a mysterious looking object, but not what actually happened.)

Am I missing something?

For all the hearts and hugs we have for Apple, it is a very big company known for its secrecy. I absolutely hate when people accuse a company of bad behavior, as though the company exists apart from the people that work for it. Like all successful companies, Apple has lots of good, smart people working there. That being said, someone at Apple allowed the company’s employees to go way too far here. I am really surprised I’m not hearing and seeing more from the mainstream press (and even the tech press) about this.

Where would this story be if it were Exxon-Mobil that had let its employees do this? (Would it have taken a local SF weekly alternative paper to break the story?) Or for a more apples-to-apples (no pun intended) comparison, what if it were Google? How about some defense contractor looking for classified information? You think that would have been huge news?

Instead, it’s Apple and even those who are shocked are shocked in that semi-detached, wry, “ooh-what-a-hoot-this-is” way the tech press seems to affect so well. They’re Claude Rains from Casablanca. (“I’m shocked — shocked! — to find out Apple is behaving this way!”)

Where’s the umbrage? Where’s the indignation?

Maybe someone can build an app for that.

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