Apple probes iPhones for child sex images

Photo: AP

The hi-tech conglomerate Apple announced it would launch a system to scan and find child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on US customers' devices. Before an image is stored iCloud Photos, the scanning programme will monitor for matches of already known CSAM. Apple confirmed that if a match was found a human reviewer will then probe and report the user to law enforcement, BBC elaborated.

There are still privacy concerns that the new technology could be expanded to scan phones for prohibited content or even political speech. Experts worry that the technology could be used by authoritarian governments to spy on its citizens. Apple said that new versions of iOS and iPadOS – which are scheduled for released this year - will have "new applications of cryptography to help limit the spread of CSAM online, while designing for user privacy". The system works by comparing images to a database of known child sexual abuse images compiled by the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other child safety organisations.

Those images are translated into "hashes", numerical codes that can be "matched" to an image on an Apple device. The company noted that the technology would also catch edited but similar versions of original images.

"Before an image is stored in iCloud Photos, an on-device matching process is performed for that image against the known CSAM hashes," Apple said. The firm claimed the system had an "extremely high level of accuracy and ensures less than a one in one trillion chance per year of incorrectly flagging a given account".

The company also said that the new technology offers "significant" privacy benefits over existing techniques - as Apple only learns about users' photos if they have a collection of known CSAM in their iCloud Photos account.

 

Similar articles

  • iPhone 13 targets satellite connectivity

    iPhone 13 targets satellite connectivity

    Apple is just about to unveil a revolutionary model of its iPhone. If the technological conglomerate keeps its schedule for introducing new models, the audience may see it in just a few weeks with the premiere of the iPhone 13. Strong signals suggest that the new edition of the Apple flagship could have a built in potential for satellite connectivity, The Verge reported.

    52
  • Google bets on Samsung 5G modem for US market

    Google bets on Samsung 5G modem for US market

    The technological conglomerate Google bets on Samsumg to bring up a 5G modem for its next flagship smartphone Pixel. This will be the first win for the Korean firm in a US market dominated by Qualcomm, Reuters reported. Earlier in August Google unveiled that it had designed its own processor chip to power its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro high profile phones, ending its complete reliance on Qualcomm, which would keep supplying chips for the cheaper Pixel 5A.

    48