Apple has designed a new CSAM detection feature to prevent the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). But since the announcement of the new system privacy experts have criticized it saying that it will create a backdoor to users’ privacy and turn iPhones into surveillance devices for governments. The backlash forced the company to delay the feature’s launch but that isn’t enough.
A non-profit digital privacy organization, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has organized protests in major U.S cities against Apple’s CSAM detection system to pressurize the company to drop the feature altogether. Earlier, the organization expressed that Apple “must go further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into its encryption entirely.”
Ahead of September 14 event, privacy activists organize nationwide protests to ensure Apple abandons the CSAM detection feature
CSAM detection system will scan users’ photos saved on iCloud for known CSAM. However, the slippery slope is the initial phase of that scanning which will take place on users’ iPhones, while they upload photos on the cloud to match them to the CSAM hash provided by NCMEC. Critics claim that the new scanning system will jeopardize users’ privacy Apple has always valued and protected. And EFF is encouraging people to voice their concerns collectively to remind Apple of that commitment.
On September 7, we delivered nearly 60,000 petitions to Apple. Over 90 organizations across the globe have also urged the company not to implement them. We’re pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns of customers, researchers, civil liberties organizations, human rights activists, LGBTQ people, youth representatives, and other groups, about the dangers posed by its phone scanning tools. But we can’t let up the pressure until Apple commits, fully, to protecting privacy and security.
Opinion on the new scanning system is divided between governments that denounced end-to-end encryption and privacy experts which support end-to-end encryption. The protests are planned for Monday, September 13, at 6:00 P.M. PT in Boston, Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York City, Portland (OR), and other major cities in the United States. Click here to learn more about the protests.
- Edward Snowden deems Apple’s CSAM detection as an intrusive surveillance system
- Apple’s CSAM plan faces backlash from over 90 civil rights groups