Apple's child safety program has received a lot of criticism
Apple's child safety program has received a lot of criticism

WhatsApp has condemned Apple's new child safety tools and monitoring system as worrisome, even though governments around the world have welcomed the decision to actively search for illegal images of child sexual abuse.

WhatsApp will not adopt Apple's new child safety measures, which are intended to prevent the spread of child abuse images. That's what Will Cathcart, Chair of the Tribune, said.

In a series of tweets, Will Cathcart stated that he believes the iPhone maker has developed software that can erase all private photos from the phone. He said he was wrong when trying to improve his response to CSAM materials.

"This is a monitoring system developed and operated by Apple that can analyze the private content of any government-controlled content," he added. It is shocking to see that it works without the participation of experts.

Apple's plan is to hash photos uploaded via iCloud and compare them to a database known for CSAM photo hashing.

This enables the company to encrypt user data, perform cross-device analysis, and report users to authorities when users share child abuse images.

Another aspect of a child safety strategy is to provide parents with optional warnings when their children send or view images of pornographic content. An internal Apple memo confirms that people are concerned about the impact of the regulations.

Cathcart described the iPhone maker's practices as deeply concerning. He said it allows the government to require companies to include non-CSAM images in the database where they compare images.

Cathcart noted that WhatsApp's anti-child exploitation system (in part with user reports) remains encrypted.

This prompted the company to report more than 400,000 cases to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020.

Apple's child safety program has received a lot of criticism

Facebook, which owns the WhatsApp platform, has reason to attack the iPhone manufacturer for privacy reasons.

Apple's changes to how ad tracking works in iOS 14.5 have sparked a battle between the two companies. Facebook has bought newspaper ads criticizing Apple's privacy changes as harmful to small businesses.

Apple responded that this change forces users to choose whether or not to be tracked.

WhatsApp isn't the only company to criticize Apple's new child safety measures. The list of people and organizations that raised concerns includes Edward Snowden and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a statement criticizing Apple's plan as a meticulously documented and researched back door.

The foundation explained why it believed the government could abuse child safety measures. And how to reduce user privacy.

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