Literally 30-minutes ago, we published a story regarding Apple, child abuse, and potential new scanning software coming to US-based iPhones. Now, Apple has issued a press release outlining steps around child safety in the iOS ecosystem.
The press release title is “Expanded Protections for Children” and can be found on Apple’s website here. According to apple, they are taking measures in the upcoming version of iOS to expand child safety measures. Below you can read what Apple had to say about these new measures:
Apple is introducing new child safety features in three areas, developed in collaboration with child safety experts. First, new communication tools will enable parents to play a more informed role in helping their children navigate communication online. The Messages app will use on-device machine learning to warn about sensitive content, while keeping private communications unreadable by Apple.
Next, iOS and iPadOS will use new applications of cryptography to help limit the spread of CSAM online, while designing for user privacy. CSAM detection will help Apple provide valuable information to law enforcement on collections of CSAM in iCloud Photos.
Finally, updates to Siri and Search provide parents and children expanded information and help if they encounter unsafe situations. Siri and Search will also intervene when users try to search for CSAM-related topics.
These features are coming later this year in updates to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey.
This program is ambitious, and protecting children is an important responsibility. These efforts will evolve and expand over time.
The press release is lengthy, and Apple provides materials at the end which expand on its intentions further. But it is confirmed that Apple will be scanning iPhones for child abuse images and comparing them to images from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and report those images to authorities. Be sure to read the full press release and additional documents Apple provided for more context.