I'm not even sure how to phrase the question, but I'm looking for a word that describes a situation where a person doesn't necessarily act unethically, but in which the ambiguity they create benefits them when mistakes are made (and therefore they have no incentive to keep the mistake from happening again).
Consider the news from last month where Apple was found to have deliberately slowed down older iPhones through a software update. Apple's argument was that old phones that have weak batteries can deplete very quickly if there's a sudden demand for power, and that they were trying to "preserve the user experience" by slowing the phone down to compensate. Indeed, 3rd-party sources have confirmed that replacing an old iPhone's battery does, in fact, restore performance. Apple maintains they did not intend to deceive anyone, but because they didn't disclose what they did, the slowdown caused some users to buy a new iPhone, and Apple makes more money from selling new iPhones than it does replacing batteries on old ones.
This could also apply to a lot of itemized bills one receives from service contracts; say a phone or utility bill. The bills are long and contain lots of fees, taxes, and technical jargon that make it difficult to understand. The company is not deceiving you intentionally, but the complexity of the bill makes it easy to accidentally overcharge you.
I'm pretty convinced there's a word or phrase for this. Or perhaps an idiom.
I thought maybe obfuscation or plausible deniability, but both of those terms imply deliberate fraud.