Apple should have responded much sooner to concerns about location data stored on its iPhones, even if the company didn’t have all the answers ready, marketing and crisis-management experts tell the “Associated Press” (http://macte.ch/1jSq9). The company took a week to deny that the phones track the precise location of their owners, as some users and privacy watchdogs had feared.
As soon as it started selling the devices, Apple should have said how it uses, or doesn’t use, location data, Joe Marconi, a DePaul University marketing professor and author of “Crisis Marketing: When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies,” told the AP.
“The whole problem could have been a non-problem if Apple had done some kind of disclosure of this in some kind of a privacy statement,” he said. “Apple customers are fiercely loyal in a way we can say few (others) are today. With that comes a responsibility.”
Larry L. Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, a public relations company, told the AP that Apple should have said something sooner in some form, even if it didn’t have all the details right away.
“To me there is no excuse to stonewall, to put off facing your customers, your partners, your shareholders, your employees,” he said. “When there is a problem, or an issue has been raised, it’s so counterproductive to put off responding.”