Several months ago, Apple made a surprising announcement when they revealed their plans to implement a new photo scanning feature that would identify potential CSAM. The idea behind it was noble and obviously a good thing as it could crack down on these types of illegal content and activity, but at the same time, many users felt uncomfortable at the idea of Apple scanning their photos.
There was a lot of backlash to the announcement, and while Apple initially defended their decision, they slowly backtracked on it to the point where any reference to the feature has since been scrubbed from its website, as noted by Florian Schimanke.
According to the post, references to CSAM scans were still present on Apple’s website last Friday, but it now appears to have been removed. However, this does not mean that Apple is done with the feature. As 9to5Mac states, it is possible that Apple could have simply removed the references while they reworked their plan to better appease the masses.
Like we said, CSAM scanning is a good thing but there were concerns about the implications of the tech. This is because Apple would rely on the use of a hash to search for relevant data, and some believe it could potentially be abused by governments who might try to slip in other data to search for information and identify minority groups, political dissidents, political opponents, and more.
Whether or not the feature will ultimately return in a different form remains to be seen.