Apple faces privacy backlash

September 06, 2021 | 2 minutes read

Apple pauses its users’ image scanning program amid privacy concerns.

Apple after facing huge privacy backlash has delayed its plan of scanning the US user’s iPhone devices for child abuse and exploitation material. The technology faced huge criticism from data protection and privacy groups.  They termed device tracking as a dangerous precedent. Apple said that it listened to the negative feedback and was reconsidering the technology. 

Apple in its statement said:

“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.”

There was also a wide range of concerns that the system can be used by authoritarian states.

NeuralHash technology:

The technology which was going to be used is called as NeuralHash Technology. The so-called technology would have scanned the images just before they are uploaded to the iCloud Photos. Then it would have scanned them against the known child sexual abuse material present on the database of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And in case of a match, the account could be reported to law enforcement agencies.

But user’s privacy was a sure concern of data protection enthusiasts.

In this data-driven world, the user’s privacy and data protection have gained utmost importance. Users’ privacy cannot be compromised at any level because non-compliance with data protection laws like GDPR etc can result in fines and punishments. So for curbing these types of crimes new tools can be made by developers that are in no way breaching users’ privacy or laws like GDPR. Developers can read developers guide or checklist in this regard