Last week, Apple announced that they would be launching a new CSAM scanning feature for iOS in which it would scan photos on iPhones to detect potential child abuse images, after which they would then report it to the authorities. However, following the announcement, there has been quite a bit of backlash which some might have hoped Apple would listen to.
Unfortunately, that has changed just about nothing. According to a report from MacRumors, they have reached out to Apple to see if the negative feedback they’ve received could have impacted their plans, but as it turns out that isn’t the case as Apple is still committed to launching the new feature by the end of the year alongside iOS 15.
Now to be fair, scanning for CSAM imagery is a good thing, especially with the millions of devices that Apple has sold to date. This gives them a massive reach and we imagine will probably go a long way in helping authorities nab people involved in such activities.
However, many privacy and legal experts point out the potential for abuse of such a system, where governments could persuade Apple to eventually get them to start scanning for other types of images.
Apple has attempted to assuage those concerns by saying that the feature will never go beyond CSAM, and that they will refuse all other demands. It remains to be seen if they do and only time will tell if they’ll be sticking to their guns, but in the meantime, this is a feature that users can expect to see by the end of the year.