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Apple Delays Controversial Child Abuse iPhone Spying Program After Backlash

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Sep 03, 2021 - 09:31 AM

After major backlash at the possibility of big brother-esque monitoring of everything you do - ironically juxtaposed against an entire advertising strategy of 'privacy' - Apple has, for now, abandoned its plans to install Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM) tools.

Tech experts had warned the Apple's targeting of handsets and iPads, as opposed to images already stored in the iCloud, created the blueprint for a 'back door' surveillance system that would bypass end-to-end encryption undermine user privacy.

In a statement, the giant tech company said it is taking “additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.”

"Last month we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material," Apple said in a statement.

"Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features."

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As the old saying goes: If you aren't doing anything illegal, then you have nothing to fear from surveillance.

So why would Apple abandon this plan? It appears the company's privacy brand is worth more than virtue-signaling about a tool to catch child abuse predators (or people taking photos of the Capitol?).

Many warned when Apple first announced this plan that the system is only a few steps removed from '1984'-style surveillance. Alec Muffett, a security researcher and privacy campaigner who formerly worked at Facebook and Deliveroo, said Apple's move was "tectonic" and a "huge and regressive step for individual privacy". "Apple are walking back privacy to enable 1984."

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