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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

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IBM, smartphones and a graffiti wall: what's the real message?

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I was ready to poke fun at IBM for its sponsored graffiti wall at Mobile World Congress this year. Graffiti and IBM don't have a comfortable history, as anyone who remembers the Linux campaign from 2001 will tell you.

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Last week at The Fonecast: 24th February 2014

Are you ready?

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Author: The Fonecast
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When customer service stops working: a complaint about Vodafone

Iain Graham writes:

Vodafone’s admission last week that ‘some customers’ may have been experiencing issues with mobile services came three weeks late for me. I’ve been having my own ongoing battle with the network since the beginning of the month.

Author: The Fonecast
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Last week at The Fonecast: 17th February 2014

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Mark Bridge writes:

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