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Apple is delaying a controversial feature that would scan your iPhone for child abuse photos

Privacy advocates claim that it could open the door for other forms of tracking.

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Image: Unsplash

Remember all those child protection features that Apple announced last month? The one where it would scan all of your iCloud photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM)? Well, as it turns out, the company is walking this feature back in a huge reversal after major backlash.

“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.”

The idea behind this new safety protection from Apple would help stop the spread of child sex abuse material. The company developed multiple safeguards like a feature that would scan and detect explicit images found in incoming and outgoing messages. Another feature would scan a user’s iCloud photos for explicit images of children. More information on these features can be found here in Apple’s original press release.

As you could imagine, these new safeguards are coming under massive scrutiny. Privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, are warning that the technology could be misused beyond tracking child pornography and would “break key promises of the messenger’s encryption itself and open the door to broader abuses.”

These new changes from Apple were originally scheduled to roll out later this year. And judging from the company’s recent statement, it sounds like it could take Apple some more time until all these features are slated for release.

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