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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

f u cn rd ths thn wts th prblm?

Iain Graham writes:

Text language. Why do they do it?  What an interesting question!  Normally asked by people who have never ever sent a text, believing it to be the invention of the devil!! "Texters are vandals, doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbours eight hundred years ago" asserted Jhn (sorry) John Humphrys of Radio Four fame writing in the Daily Mail. The new 'text language' has been blamed for many things including...

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Is Google’s new mobile phone distribution model really a big deal for the UK?

Mark Bridge writes:

“Google offers New Model for Consumers to buy a Mobile Phone”. Not my words but those of Vodafone as it announced it was the first operator to bring the new Google phone offer to Europe.

There’s a lot of talk about Google’s online ordering process for its Nexus One smartphone… or ‘superphone’ as the company described it at yesterday’s launch.

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Mobile shopping is worrying... and usually successful

Mark Bridge writes:

I really don’t like to complain. Honestly, I don’t. I’m an optimist. True, I can be a bit of a cynic – but that’s because I like to see things work first time.

So when I saw a headline that said “Shopping via mobile phone causes concerns for consumers”, I wasn’t surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.

And then I looked closer – and I got annoyed. Not annoyed at the companies that make mobile shopping so disappointing. No, annoyed at the organisation that published the report.

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Is mobile technology too young to predict?

Mark Bridge writes:

“Leave them alone, they’re just kids”

My word, Anakin Skywalker was a smart boy. Child prodigy. Wunderkind. Genius, some would say, albeit fictional.

But, without the benefit of hindsight (or the Star Wars box set, as many would call it), very few people would have expected him to marry his babysitter, fall into a volcano, turn to the Dark Side and end up looking like the late Sebastian Shaw.

Which brings me to the mobile phone industry.

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Did 2009 turn out the way we expected?

Mark Bridge writes:

At this time of year it’s something of a tradition – certainly within the mobile industry – to make predictions for the year ahead. It’s a trend we’ve followed with The Fonecast… and we’ve done reasonably well over the last few years.

We’ll be making this year’s predictions for 2010 in our programme on 23rd December. Ahead of that, I’ve been listening to our last show of 2008 to see what we thought 2009 would hold for us.

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