Apple bolstered its Power of Two recently by siding with its customers against authoritarian regimes who wish to restrict their rights and freedoms. According the Washington Post Apple CEO Tim Cook “The only way to protect your data is to encrypt it,” Mr. Cook declared recently. “There is no other way known today. And so, if I were you, I would do business with no one that wasn’t doing that.”

But Apple was faced with a dilemma that ran counter to that assertion: The app Telegram, which lives in the Apple App Store and encrypts messages to keep them away from prying government eyes, has been the subject of ire from Russia’s communications regulator, who wanted to prevent a vital update of the app from being released. Without this update, Telegram would not have met EU standards for privacy, and would have been rendered useless. Against strong pressure from Russia and Iran, Apple, which had let the update languish while it decided which voice to listen to, finally decided to leverage The Power of Two, focusing its attention on its customers instead of the governments who wished to oppress them.

The relationship with the customer must be the paramount concern of any brand, and its leadership sometimes has to make tough decisions to uphold that relationship. Today, Apple and Tim Cook have done the right thing, because they understand The Power of Two.