‘Privacy Company’ Apple Plans To Monitor All US iPhones For Evidence Of Child Porn

‘Privacy Company’ Apple Plans To Monitor All US iPhones For Evidence Of Child Porn. By Tyler Durden.

Smartphones already act like tracking devices broadcasting the whereabouts of their owners, but Apple is about to open the door to far more advanced forms of smartphone-based voluntary surveillance by launching a new program designed to detect and report iPhone users who are found to have child pornography — known by the academic-speak acronym CSAM — which stands for Child Sexual Abuse Materials. …

The new system, called “neuralMatch”, is expected to be unveiled by Apple later this week. The software is expected to be installed on American iPhones via a software update. According to the FT, the automated system can proactively alert a team of human reviewers if it believes CSAM is present on a user’s iPhone. If the reviewers can verify the material, law enforcement will be contacted. …

Apple’s neuralMatch algorithm will continuously scan photos that are stored on a US user’s iPhone and have also been uploaded to its iCloud back-up system. Users’ photos, converted into a string of numbers through a process known as “hashing”, will be compared with those on a database of known images of child sexual abuse.

Privacy? Times change. Companies change.

Apple has gotten a lot of positive press for its commitment to user privacy — remember when it refused to crack an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters? Well, this encryption technology has become a perennial headache for law enforcement. Last January, Apple quietly abandoned plans to allow users to fully encrypt their iCloud backups due to complaints from law enforcement. …

The tool that’s today being used to unearth child pornography could one day be abused by authoritarian governments (like the CCP). And once Apple has committed to using this type of surveillance, governments will demand it from everyone.

It is an absolutely appalling idea, because it is going to lead to distributed bulk surveillance of…our phones and laptops,” said Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge.

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