Apple has recently made an official announcement proclaiming that it will soon implement a new system that will check photos on iPhone devices before they are uploaded to its iCloud storage services. This is an attempt to restrict images which match the database of child abuse.
Apple said that detection of child abuse image uploads sufficient to guard against false positives will trigger a human review of and report of the user to law enforcement. Moreover, the system is designed to reduce false positives to one in one trillion.Apple’s new system seeks to address requests from law enforcement to help stem child sexual abuse while also respecting privacy and security practices that are a core tenet of the company’s brand. But some privacy advocates said the system could open the door to monitoring of political speech or other content on iPhone handsets.
Most other major technology providers – including Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are already checking images against a database of known child sexual abuse imagery. Law enforcement officials maintain a database of known child sexual abuse images and translate those images into “hashes” – numerical codes that positively identify the image but cannot be used to reconstruct them. Apple has implemented that database using a technology called “NeuralHash”, designed to catch edited images similar to the originals. This database will be stored on iPhone gadgets.