back to article Apple quietly deletes details of derided CSAM scanning tech from its Child Safety page without explanation

Apple evidently has decided against forcing customers to run its sex crime detection software on their iPhones in order to refer those stashing illegal child abuse images in iCloud to authorities. We say "evidently" because the iTitan has simply erased the explanatory text it posted in August that describes its non-consensual …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peeping Toms

    FWIW - Since Android 11 I've been getting occasional messages from google ~ "We've improved your image, accept to replace", always with an attached thumbprint of a fleshy colored sun in soft fleshy colored pink orange cloud background (another one of my sunset pictures). Despite having never invited them in and setting all the privacy settings I could find.

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      Big Brother

      Re: Peeping Toms

      Big Brother AI stitch up...

      "This is the photo you wanted to take"

      And if they don't like you, followed by

      "A recent search of your private photos found unapproved images. The Authorities have been notified."

    2. Chris G

      Re: Peeping Toms

      Don't allow your photos to be stored on google's cloud.

      If you don't disable that, goigle automaticalky has access to all your pics.

      I am still not sure if they do anyway, but I no longer get any prompts about my pics since barring cloud storage.

  2. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Google? who?

  3. teknopaul


    Maybe Apple just decided to stop telling people what they are doing.

    1. Irony Deficient

      Re: Mebbe not

      According to The Verge, an Apple spokesemployee was still commenting on this issue — viz that they’re still delaying (rather than canceling) their plan to deploy and run their CSAM scanning software on iPhones that have iCloud Photos enabled.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Spin it up

        Well, they didn't comment to us when we asked. I've added an update. No explanation for the quiet disappearance of the text. Classic Apple.

        Never explain, never apologize.


        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Spin it up

          "Well, they didn't comment to us when we asked."

          See icon :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mebbe not

        They'll wait 90 days which is about the length of society's collective memory then they'll try again call it something else

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Yeah but El Reg has a longer attention span.

          Not to mention its forum users.

        2. Chris G

          Re: Mebbe not

          "Once this capability is built into Apple products, the company and its competitors will face enormous pressure – and potentially legal requirements – from governments around the world to scan photos not just for CSAM, but also for other images a government finds objectionable,"

          Here is the problem, whether or not Appoo goes ahead with CSAM, the knowledge that it is possible is out there in the heads of cops and governments, so they will want it.

          Thinking of the children, the war against terrorism/drugs/climate/the plebs etc, will all benefit from access to your pics of puppies, kittens, sunsets and porn in their eyes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mebbe

      Stop implies that they started sometime.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this operate as a Warrant Canary ...

    ... for Bad Things?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aww, the poor MPAA and RIAA will have to come up with some other excuse for scanning peoples' devices and computers for "unauthorized" content...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mandated back door fait accompli?

    Clearly, the Apple scheme is a back door and mass surveillance technique which can be adapted to all manner of data besides porno pics.

    The beauty of it is, corporations and governments need not collect or collate virtually all user data, just what it wants to see.

    The way it's being introduced suggests intense pressure from governmental authorities like Five Eyes, NSA, GCHG, China, etc.

    Going silent like this could mean the code has been deployed and is a fait accompli as we speak.

    In that case it's understandable Apple might not want to talk about it and indeed may be required by law to keep quiet.

    There would be no sane or logical business reason for Apple to backdoor it's devices.

    If there was they should be willing to talk about it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Apple is never willing to talk about anything outside of its next product. Under Apple-controlled conditions, of course.

      Backdooring has nothing to do with sanity or logic, but everything to do with keeping market penetration and staying out of the eye of sovereign displeasure.

      Apple is the whore of the market. It will bend over and take it in the blink of an eye when dealing with a country that just might banish it or take some of its higher-up muppets to jail, but in Western "democratic" countries (that are fewer by the day), it stands tall on the soapbox of "protecting its customers".

      Nobody has ever died of hypocrisy, so all is well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Pascal Monett - You do know

        that the only goal of a corporation is to maximize profit for its shareholders and that CEO is legally accountable for fulfilling this mission. It's Capitalism 101 for God's sake.

        1. Chris G

          Re: @Pascal Monett - You do know


          I get fed up with people trotting out this ignorance on a regular basis.

          For your erudition:

          1. Bill Gray

            Re: @Pascal Monett - You do know

            Interesting link. You'll notice, though, that it is quite clear that it refers to _small_ businesses.

            In theory, the same laws and ideas apply to all corporations. In observed reality, for larger corporations, maximizing profit becomes (almost) the sole consideration. If making useful products at a decent price will do so, they'll do that. If killing lots of people will do so, they'll do that instead. (And I do not exaggerate. Consider the tobacco industry, which knowingly kills lots of people in a slow and disgusting manner. The history of the asbestos industry, leaded gasoline, and the fossil fuel industry's reaction to climate change arguably offer similar examples.)

            Also not mentioned in that article is that corporations can exist for all sorts of reasons; if the shareholders want the corporation to maximize the world's supply of unicorns and rainbows, it will be the corporation's responsibility to do that. And some smaller businesses do so. But again, real-world megacorporations don't do that.

            I run a (very small) business. I'm a big fan of capitalism as it works on my scale and at medium scales, and even (sometimes) at larger scales. But my fandom is a practical one, not a religious one.

            1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

              Re: @Pascal Monett - You do know

              @Bill Gray: You speak as the guy that fixes my bicycle does, as we quietly drink beer in his repair shop.

              Will, is that you?

  7. Blackjack Silver badge

    [No word on why exactly the Child Safety webpage was quietly edited, though]

    I think is called "Polish a t*rd".

    Out of sight, out of mind.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At some future time

    You'll take pictures at your child's birthday party.

    The camera will spot "child porn".

    The police will be notified of a crime in progress. And the GPS location. And the owner of the phone.

    They'll turn up armed.

    Parties will stop.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: At some future time

      More so if the kids are at a pool.

  9. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    It's already on their servers.

    During the last round of updates I noticed they auto turned on everyones icloud services again. It was in the contract you had to accept to update. I refused. Not sure how much longer they will allow this XR to continue working at this point. You have to log into apple to tell them to stop it.

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