Apple's annual shareholder meeting focuses on conservative concerns, China, equality and artificial intelligence

The meeting of shareholders will be held on February 28

Apple's annual shareholder meeting will be held on February 28, with shareholder proposals demanding transparency from Apple on AI and addressing concerns of conservative politicians, but Apple advises a “no” vote.

The annual meeting of shareholders is held so that Apple and shareholders can discuss how the company is performing and achieving its goals. It will take place on February 28 and topics include CEO Tim Cook's compensation and voting for new board members.

There is a third offer from Apple – — voting to ratify the appointment of Ernst & Young as Apple's independent registered public accounting firm for 2024. All three management proposals, which include board votes and compensation votes, are recommended to shareholders for a “yes” vote.

There are five shareholder proposals, each of which Apple's board of directors recommends voting against. These proposals cover a wide range of issues, from demands for transparency regarding the use of AI to numerous concerns shared by conservative viewpoints.

The following is a summary of Apple's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Proposal #4: EEO Policy Report about risks

The National Center for Public Policy Research is asking Apple to release a public report detailing the potential risks associated with excluding “viewpoint” and “ideology” from its written equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies. There are concerns that Apple does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on viewpoint or ideology.

The proposal suggests that the lack of language in the EEO policy resulted in “sufficient evidence that people with conservative views may face discrimination at Apple.”

Apple recommends voting against Proposition 4 because such a report would not provide significant additional information. The company says it is already creating a culture where every great idea can be heard and where everyone belongs.

Proposal No. 5: Report on ensuring respect for civil liberties

The American Family Association is “concerned by recent reports that Apple is arbitrarily restricting access to content on its online services.” The proposal suggests that Apple is helping the Chinese Communist Party restrict information by removing popular Quran and Bible apps from the App Store in China.

Apple's annual shareholder meeting includes voting on a number of issues

Additionally, the proposal suggests that Apple's alleged threat to remove X was “apparently a political hit “, which conservative legislators characterized as a “crude manifestation of monopoly power.”

Apple's board advises voting against Proposition 5 because it must comply with local laws and notes that it is working hard to prevent illegal content from entering the country's storefronts. The company already details its app curation standards and procedures, and also details government orders for app removal.

Proposal no. 6: Race and Gender Pay Gap

Arjuna Capital's Anmol Mehra asks Apple to provide a report on the average pay gap by race and gender. It is believed that Apple's adjusted gap report, while ignoring unadjusted gaps, does not address structural bias against women and minorities in opportunity and pay.

Apple's Board of Directors advises voting against Proposition 6 because it already provides robust employee disclosure through the Inclusion and Diversity website. The company also says it has achieved gender pay equity worldwide, as well as pay equity by race and ethnicity in the United States.

Proposal no. 7: Report on the Use of Artificial Intelligence

The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is asking Apple to produce a report on the transparency of the company's use of artificial intelligence and the ethical principles surrounding the technology. There are concerns that the use of AI could lead to discrimination, mass layoffs or the spread of false information if it is not monitored and guidelines are followed.

Apple is working on artificial intelligence for iOS 18

Apple's board advises voting against Proposition 7 because it is too broad and could involve disclosing strategic plans and initiatives , harmful to the competitive position. In addition, Apple says it already provides resources and transparency for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Proposal No. 8: Privacy and Human Rights Compliance Report

The National Law and Policy Center is asking Apple to provide a report analyzing whether Apple's privacy and human rights policy positions are universally followed. The proposal calls for restricting AirDrop in China and stopping the sale of products in Russia as measures that do not comply with Apple's policies.

Apple's board advises voting against Proposition 8 because it respects human rights and is transparent about its approach to difficult situations such as government requests. The requested report does not contain additional material information.

Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on February 28, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. To attend, vote, and ask questions during a meeting, visit the Apple Meeting Portal and enter the control number on your proxy online notice, voting instruction form, or proxy card.

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