Apple recently announced that they would soon be introducing a new feature that would essentially scan the photos stored on iPhones for media that might depict child abuse. In theory it sounds like a good thing and Apple leveraging their reach and influence to put a stop to these types of things sounds amazing.

However, many have since pointed out that this is a double-edged sword and it could potentially be abused by governments to crack down on political dissidents and certain persecuted groups. In fact, the potential for abuse seems to be outweighing the potential benefits, so much so that over 5,000 people (at this time of posting) have signed a petition to ask Apple to halt their plans.

In an open letter penned to Apple that was put together by various security and privacy experts, researchers, professors, legal experts, and more, “Apple’s current path threatens to undermine decades of work by technologists, academics and policy advocates towards strong privacy-preserving measures being the norm across a majority of consumer electronic devices and use cases. We ask that Apple reconsider its technology rollout, lest it undo that important work.”

In the past, we have seen backlash to companies that have forced them to backtrack or amend their policies, but whether or not Apple will make any changes or revise their plans remains to be seen.

Filed in Apple >General. Read more about , and . Source: imore