Apple delays controversial child protection features
Apple delays controversial child protection features

Apple postponed its announced parental controls last month, including a controversial feature that analyzes user photos for CSAM, after changes were criticized for restricting user privacy.

These changes were originally supposed to be implemented this year. "Last month, we announced a career plan designed to help protect children from predators who use social media to exploit them and reduce the spread of child pornography," the company said in a statement.

“Based on feedback from customers, stakeholders, researchers, and others, we have decided to invest more time in the coming months to research opinions and make improvements before introducing these features.”

This release describes three major changes at work. A change related to Search and Siri may point to resources to block CSAM when users search for information about them.

The other two changes are currently being further investigated. A change can alert parents when children are receiving or sending pornographic images while hiding those children's images.

Apple delays controversial child protection features

Another change is scanning photos stored in iCloud Photos for users to receive CSAM documents and reporting them to company officials who then send the report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The company has explained the iCloud photo scanning system in detail to prove that it does not harm users' privacy. In short, the system will scan the photos stored in iCloud Photos through the iOS device. It evaluates these images and a database of parts of CSAM images known to NCMEC and other child protection organizations.

However, many privacy experts have been highly critical of the company's new system. In fact, a monitoring system can be included in the device. It violates the user's trust in the company to protect the privacy of the entire device.

In a statement on August 5, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said the new system violates key promises made by the email program itself and opens the door to broader abuses.

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