January 6, 2011; Source: The Guardian | For the first time a politician has stepped into the ongoing scuffle between charities and Apple over the tech giant which refuses to allow donations to be made from iPhone and iPad apps.

The U.K.’s minister for civil society, Nick Hurd, is making it clear where he stands regarding the hullabaloo over the Apple ban, telling the Guardian he will formally write to the company and ask for an explanation of its stance. “I’d like to understand it from Apple’s point of view. It seems it could be a leader with this, and I don’t understand why it is dragging its heels,” he said.

The company has faced growing pressure to repeal the ban in recent months, attracting more than 10,000 names so far on an online petition.

For its part, Apple has never fully explained its position on the ban, but it is thought that the legal responsibility of verifying payments and charities is the company’s chief hesitation, according to The Guardian.

Some advocates for nonprofits though, point out that Google, eBay and PayPal have all have charity-vetting programs that ensure donations are reaching their intended recipient. One fundraising executive estimates that the total monetary loss to charities will run into “many millions” over the coming years, as smartphone use continues to rise.

One wonders if the public display of dissatisfaction by one politician will signal others to follow – and perhaps ratchet up the public pressure on Apple to end its unfortunate policy.—Aaron Lester