from NewCo Shift
A clash of fundamentally competing economic philosophies broke into the mainstream news this weekend, with the fate of democratic capitalism hanging in the balance. And while it’s likely too early to call a winner, the trends are certainly not looking good for democracy as we understand it in the west.*
First, the news. Bowing to Chinese law, Apple will be storing the keys to its Chinese customers’ data inside China?—?subjecting that information to Chinese legal oversight, a system which, as Yonatan Zunger points out, is markedly distinct from that of the United States, where Apple had heretofore protected its Chinese customers.
Why does this matter? Certainly it’s a blow for the individual privacy of Apple’s Chinese customers, but then again, to presume one company?—?even one as powerful as Apple?—?could force its policies on the Chinese state is beyond naive. No, to my mind this matters because it creates a precedent for an approach to capitalism that puts profit before principle, regardless of externalities or long term consequence. And that should concern us all.