Apple Shareholders Request Information From Board on Privacy/Security Risk

Author:Ms Amy Malone
Profession:Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

This week, Apple shareholders requested that its Board of Directors publish a report explaining how the board oversees privacy and data security risks. The proposal, which is available here, was prompted by concern that recent issues such as the unauthorized access to iPhone users' address books and the release of one million Unique Device IDs could place the company's growth opportunities at risk.

The shareholder proposal references a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University's Cylab that made various recommendations to boards including, annual reviews of privacy and security programs to gage effectiveness and identify gaps and requiring regular privacy and security reports from management. The interest in privacy and security as risk management issues at both the shareholder and board level is increasing. A recent study conducted by Corporate Board Member & FTI Consulting, Inc. surveyed 11,340 corporate directors and 1,957 general counsel regarding legal risks on their radar. For the first time in the 12 years since the study has been conducted, data security was noted as the most prevalent concern among both directors (48 percent) and general counsel (55 percent). This level of concern has almost doubled in the last four years. For instance, in 2008, only 25 percent of directors and 23 percent of general counsel identified data...

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