Public Outrage Pushes Apple to Press Pause of Photo Scanning Child Protection Features

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When we brought you the story about Apple’s proposed child protection features in upcoming iOS updates, we knew the company was in for it as far as privacy advocates were concerned.

silver iPhone X floating over open palm
Photo by Neil Soni

And even after Apple explained how the system would work, the controversy around it really didn’t die down.

So it’s no surprise that we’re bringing you word today that Apple is delaying the rollout of these new features.

The company said as much in an official statement to online outlet The Verge:

“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. 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.”

The three major aspects of the system were a monitored search and Siri feature in addition to scanning photos for evidence of child abuse as well as monitoring the sending/receipt of such material on a minor’s iPhone. This latter feature would alert the child’s parents if such material was being viewed or exchanged. That along with the photo library scanning feature had some iPhone users worried about privacy and it seems like the message got through.

But the changes are still coming if reworked somewhat from the original incarnation that Apple planned on releasing. It will be interesting to see how Cupertino navigates this in the future and whether or not the changes satisfy privacy watchdogs.

Do you think Apple’s delay is a smart move or should they cancel this program altogether? Let us know what you think of Apple’s proposed child protection features in the comments below.

Check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[The Verge]

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

My pictures are absolutely none of anyone’s business. Reasonable suspicion must be sought and court orders issued through the legal system to do anything about my pictures or any content on my cell phone. Vigilantism is not the answer, however, I love that Apple wants to protect children and rid the world of pedo’s but they may not do it at my expense.

Do “I” have anything to hide? Whether I do or do not is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

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