Petition to End Apple Censorship

In order for Apple to stop depriving its users of their fundamental rights and, at the same time, to end the company’s unethical practices which violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, we demand that Apple carefully review and immediately integrate into its business activities the 31 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights set out by the United Nations.

These principles provide companies with a clear framework to respect human rights while conducting business, including in sensitive environments like China.

These Guiding Principles should be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, “with particular attention to the rights and needs of, as well as the challenges faced by, individuals from groups or populations that may be at heightened risk of becoming vulnerable or marginalized […]”. In other words, these principles should not only be implemented in democratic countries but also in countries governed by authoritarian regimes, countries where Apple has decided to do business.

We ask that Apple pay particular attention to the situation in China when reviewing and integrating these principles. 

Taking these Principles into account, we ask that Apple:

Immediately cease the censorship of apps in its App Stores globally.

Rewrite the company’s “App Store Review Guidelines”, to end opaque and arbitrary curation of content and services on the App Store. These new guidelines should be clear, non-discriminatory and objective, in order to ensure fair and equal access to the App Store to developers worldwide and in China.

Produce and publish new internal procedures for reviewing Apps submitted by developers.

Produce and publish new internal procedures for reviewing appeals from developers, should their apps be refused for inclusion in the App Store.

Clearly and transparently publish the company’s policy with regards to removal of apps from China’s App Store.

When justifying the removal of an app by the company’s obligation “to adhere to local laws”, clearly state which local laws have been taken into account for every app which has been removed from one of its App Stores, including in China.

Publish its Human Rights Policy on its main webpage where it can easily be accessed by anyone. Establish an independent body whose function will be to monitor and report about the implementation of Apple’s Human Rights Policy, in addition, or in place of, the Apple Board of Directors, which currently holds this role.

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