Controversial Child Abuse Scanner Delayed on Apple’s Device

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Much has been made of the controversial CSAM scanner on Apple’s device. It seems the company has heard some of the issues, as it decided to delay the rollout until it can make more improvements.

Apple CSAM scanning technology

Apple first announced its analysis of child sexual abuse last month, and it has been met with some resistance. Scanning images when they’re uploaded to the cloud is nothing new, but Apple said it plans to hash images to the user’s device, which some people consider to be an invasion of privacy.

In a statement on Apple.comthe company revealed its decision to delay scanning technology until it can make further improvements:

Previously, we announced plans for features to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them and to help limit the spread of child sexual abuse material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we’ve decided to take more time over the next few months to gather feedback and make improvements before releasing these child safety features. of crucial importance.

Apple says its CSAM scanning technology is actually better for users than scanning once they’re uploaded to the cloud. Here’s how the company describes the process:

Before an image is stored in iCloud Photos, an on-device matching process is performed for that image against known CSAM hashes. This matching process is powered by a cryptographic technology called private set intersection, which determines if there is a match without revealing the result. The device creates a cryptographic security voucher that encodes the match result with additional encrypted data on the image. This voucher is uploaded to iCloud Photos along with the image.

The plan was to roll out the scanning feature as part of iOS 15, but that’s yet another part of the operating system that won’t be ready for launch. The company has already announced that iCloud Private Relay and SharePlay will not be ready for the launch of iOS 15. Its CSAM scanner now joins the list of delayed parts of the mobile operating system.

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