Daily US Times: Apple has delayed plans to introduce a controversial detection technology which would have scanned users’ iPhones in search of child sexual abuse material. The feature was supposed to launch in the US first.
Apple’s decision to delay the launching of the software came after widespread criticism from users of iPhones, privacy groups and others, worried that the on-device tracking set a dangerous precedent.
The iPhone maker said that it had listened to the concerns and negative feedback and was reconsidering.
There were concerns the new system could be abused by authoritarian states.
The so-called NeuralHash technology would have been able to scan images just before they are uploaded to iCloud Photos and then it would have matched them against known child sexual abuse material on a database maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
If the system would find a match, then a human would have been manually reviewed, if required, steps taken to report it to law enforcement and disable a user’s account.
Apple was due to launch the system later in the year.
Apple said in a statement: “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.”
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