Fortune writer defends Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ right to privacy

“Of the many things Apple does brilliantly, information dissemination isn’t among them,” David A. Kaplan writes for Fortune.

“The company’s reputation for secrecy is richly deserved: its employees are terrified of misspeaking, or speaking at all, to the media; its legal apparatchik attack trivial rumors as if they’re trade libel; product-development updates makes one pine for the openness of the Manhattan Project,” Kaplan writes. “So it’s been for nearly seven years that the health of Steve Jobs has been the subject relentless speculation by the media and Wall Street—and precious little explication from Apple.”

“Last week came word that Jobs has begun his third ‘medical leave of absence.’ His six-sentence e-mail to employees, which Apple released to the public, offered no details of his health… Jobs anticipated the clamor. ‘My family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy,” is how he concluded his e-mail. The nerve of the guy!”

Kaplan writes, “In fact, though, he’s right. The cry for more, it seems to me, is ghoulish curiosity masquerading as the right-to-know-about-a-public-company. Just what is it we all have to learn about Jobs’s health, since we already well apprehend he’s no Sumner Redstone (87 and going strong) or ‘Papa Jack’ Weil (107 when he died in 2008, still the CEO of Rockmount Ranch Wear)?”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Cory A.” for the heads up.]


  1. All these publicly traded companies have to do is publish their actual stock prices and swings for the next ten years, to take the uncertainty out of the stock market.

    But that would take the fun out of it, right?

    No point gambling (which is what we’re talking about) if you can’t tolerate the risk. If you believe a company has sufficient depth, breadth, management, and vision to succeed and grow in value, invest in it. If you believe all of that hinges on the health of one man, don’t buy it. He could get hit by a bus, assassinated, or shot climbing out of his mistress’ window. You’ve neither the right nor the reason to know his private health information or to be able to control his behavior.

    My two cents. Keep the change.

  2. What I can’t understand is why anyone wouldn’t understand why people are interested in someone like Steve Jobs’s health. It’s huge news. Yes, he has a right to privacy, but we can still all ask questions and be interested. The fact that you’re reading this shows that you too are interested in Jobs’s health.

    If he passes it will be the biggest news point of this decade.

  3. Obviously people are curious. I just hope he gets well. Such a truly important person in this world. Not like the idiot Marxists in charge of the USA. He may be a liberal but at he is an amazing person. Please get well Steve. We’re praying for you.

  4. People are curious for various reasons. But the tone of your post, anonymous “asdffdf,” appears a bit defensive. You can be interested if you want. Just don’t attempt to justify it with the lame “everyone else is interested, too. See, they are reading this article on MDN.”

    News flash – I and many others read nearly every article on MDN and skim the posts to see the responses from the stalwarts. Just because I read it does not mean that I support your motivations or interpretations.

    I am a minor shareholder in Apple and I vote to leave SJ and his family completely alone! Simply wish him well and be grateful for what he and the rest of the Apple employees have done to make things a little better for the rest of us…

  5. Oh, anonymous Nicky. You started out so well and then added your political comments to a discussion on SJ’s health. It reeks of desperation and makes me want to do everything that I can to thwart your half-witted goals for 2012.

    I am sure that SJ is grateful than he is an “amazing person” even though he is a liberal. You have no idea how much it means to realize that I too might be redeemed from the my misguided notions of caring about the environment and other such trivial things.

    You condescending twit! If I gave a rat’s ass about organized religion, then I would pray for you to obtain some discretion and wisdom. But I fear that both gifts would be wasted.

  6. It is understandable that many people are “interested” in Steve’s health. Afterall, celebrity gossip is practically an epidemic in this country. It’s the morons who self-righteously (and quite incorrectly) assert their “right to know” who really need to stfu.

  7. Interest can be made up of a number of different factors, including:

    Self Gain

    As one Apple purchaser, I am both curious and concerned about Mr. Jobs’ health and wish him well. I hope he can recover from his current ailment(s) so that he can continue leading the most dynamic company currently on the planet and keep bringing excellent products to market that make my day to day life more productive (self gain).

    I wish media outlets would respect privacy, as I hold my privacy to be very important.

    I respect Mr. Jobs’ privacy and wish others would as much as they respect their own privacy.

    Apple will make any relevant announcements in due course, when the time is right to do so and not before, just like they do for their products. There is no difference.

    Like many others on this thread I wish Mr Jobs and his family well and I hope he makes a speedy and successful recovery.

  8. King Smell and Anime,

    You jack asses. You think conservatives don’t care about the environment????? Fools. The environmental movement has been completely hijacked by the liberal commies. As has the US constitution and our private property. We conservatives plan rectify that from this point on. You are brainwashed sheeple. You are going to greatly disappointed watching us take apart all of the harm you nut jobs have caused to the US.

    I too am a shareholder and in addition own many, many Apple products now and from the beginning. I too think Steve Jobs should have his privacy respected. I pray for him often to recover from his health issues. He is a great man despite his liberalism.

  9. @Jeri
    “You jack asses. You think conservatives don’t care about the environment????? Fools.”

    I don’t know Jeri. Show me how conservatives “care about
    the environment”. Any laws,acts,talking points,etc that you
    could cite so that I could be in your corner?

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