Citing a letter sent out to company employees, a report by Reuters is claiming that Apple CEO Tim Cook has backed his company’s decision to remove a police-tracking app from the App Store that was being used by protesters in Hong Kong.
“It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different,” Cook wrote in the letter while explaining that the information in the app was on its own harmless. “Widespread abuse clearly violates our App Store guidelines barring personal harm,” he added.
Cook continued that Apple based its decision on “credible information” from both Hong Kong police and Apple users that the app was being used “maliciously to target individual officers for violence.”
“National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts,” Cook wrote in his letter. “In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.”
Apple pulled the app from the App Store a day after a Chinese state newspaper criticized the company for approving the app.