Apple’s child protection feature is deprecated

Tram Ho

On August 5, Apple just launched the child sexual harassment content detection (CSAM) feature on iCloud. This feature will be tested first in the US and will roll out in individual countries then based on local laws.

But just after a few days, more than 5,500 people have signed an online test against this new feature. The number is still growing as open letters are shared on social networks.

Tính năng bảo vệ trẻ em của Apple bị phản đối - Ảnh 1.

Data processing to identify sensitive images of children on the user’s machine.

“While child abuse is a serious problem, and while efforts to combat it are well-intentioned, Apple’s proposal presents a backdoor that threatens protections. the most basic privacy rights for users of Apple products”, quoted the content of the open letter.

When this feature is implemented, Apple’s system will hash (hash) the user’s image and match it with CSAM’s database. Hash is the process of processing image data to convert it into a unique encrypted digital form with that image, which can be roughly understood as creating a digital fingerprint for an image.

This process is done on the device before the user uploads any images to iCloud. Meanwhile, a second tool will help protect children under 17 from seeing any adult images in iMessage. Parents can choose to be notified every time a child under the age of 13 receives or sends such sensitive photos.

Tính năng bảo vệ trẻ em của Apple bị phản đối - Ảnh 2.

Notice on the user’s computer about the new feature of Apple.


According to the open letter, this Apple feature bypasses terminal encryption which could be harmful to user privacy. However, Apple has reassured that the new protection protocol will not create a backdoor to both hardware and software.

The open letter is currently being marked up by 19 organizations and 640 individuals on GitHub, which brings together the world’s top programming experts. The famous signatories to this open letter currently include cryptographer Matthew Green and former spy Edward Snowden.

Along with a request to immediately stop testing new features, the open letter reminds Apple to continue to “reaffirm Apple’s commitment to end-to-end encryption and user privacy”.

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Source : Genk