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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Apple plans photo-analysis tool to protect children

Apple is planning updates to its iOS and iPadOS mobile operating systems that will help prevent the spread of what it describes as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The updates, which will be introduced later this year in the USA, have three key elements:

Automatically detecting images that depict sexually explicit activities involving a child. This will be performed on the iPhone or iPad, using data supplied by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the USA. It works before images are uploaded to Apple’s iCloud Photos storage, which means Apple is only alerted if users have CSAM in their iCloud Photos account.

Warning when sensitive material is sent via Messages. This is another on-device service, which will warn children about potentially sensitive content whilst keeping their messages unreadable by Apple.

Updating Siri and Search to provide help if users encounter unsafe situations or try to search for CSAM.

Some organisations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have expressed concerns that the technology could be expanded to spy on users, but Apple has pledged not to do this and says it won’t agree to any government requests to do this. The company insists its system will only be used for the detection of child abuse images.

[Apple's FAQ (pdf)]





 

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Opinion Articles

Satellite phones may work everywhere... but that doesn't mean they're legal

Mark Bridge writes:

Every time a British citizen finds themselves in trouble abroad – whether the problem is pirates, police, having a drink or having a cuddle – it’s very likely someone somewhere will say “you should have checked first”.

That’s sensible advice when it comes to looking at the FCO website… but an extra reminder about checking the legality of your technology came this week when biofuel bus driver Andy Pag was arrested in India for using a satellite phone.

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Google, Android and TouchDown – demonstrating the new "old" business model

James Rosewell writes:

If you work for a sizeable organisation it’s 65% likely your email, contacts, calendar and task list will all reside on a Microsoft Exchange server. That’s quite a lot of mobile phones to connect and synchronise with Exchange. Microsoft has a solution called ActiveSync now supported by Nokia, Apple and a few others. RIM requires a server that IT departments need to install to allow their BlackBerry users to access these features.

Android has been left behind when it comes to accessing ActiveSync.

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Google Nexus One – a tale of 2 power supplies

James Rosewell writes:

Last week I decided to use my own hard earned money to buy the latest high-end HTC smartphone running Android 2.1 in the form of the Google Nexus One. I’ve not used an Android-based device as my main phone for some time so was keen to understand the improvements to the operating system and see for myself how fast the Snapdragon processor really is.

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Ten tips for mobile working at home

Mark Bridge writes:

So you’re stuck at home because the snow’s made your journey to work too hazardous?  Or perhaps you just needed a little peace and quiet to finish an important project?

Well, technology can certainly make your life easier – but how can you make the best of it?  Here are my top ten tips… all gathered from personal experience. So switch on your BlackBerry, connect to your VPN and let’s do some telecommuting.

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Today, Nexus One... tomorrow, the world

Mark Bridge writes:

To my mind, the Google Nexus One is just another Android-powered handset. It’s a very good Android-powered handset – and one that might dissuade me from my planned upgrade to a Motorola Milestone – but in reality it’s only another phone.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, I don’t think Google’s method of selling the phone is going to transform mobile retailing. Well, no more than the internet is doing already.

Because that’s not why the Nexus One has been created.

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