Apple Inc. Will Be Scanning Its iPhones & iPads for Spotting Images of Child Sex Abuse

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Image source: Google

Globally, it is estimated that every year up to 1 billion children aged from 2-17 years old, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. Violence against children includes all forms of violence against people under 18 years old, either perpetrated by caregivers, peers or even strangers.  This new initiative from Apple Inc. is worth appreciation as it announces to launch a new software later this year that will help to analyze photo stored in a user’s iCloud photos account for sexually explicit images of children and report them immediately to relevant authorities.

The company also announced a feature that will examine photos sent and received in the Message app to or from children to see if they are clear from this suspicion. In addition, Apple also has added a feature in Siri digital voice assistant to intervene when users search for related abusive material. The California and Cupertino based technology giant previewed the three new features on Thursday 7, 2021 and proclaimed they would be put into use later in 2021.

Image source: Google

The company said it will detect abusive images by comparing photos with a database known as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), provide by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Neural Hash is a technology that analyze images and converts them to a unique set of numbers. That set is then compared with the data base using cryptography. Apple ensured that the process can’t learn about images that don’t match the database.

The automated system would proactively alert the human team of reviewers if the systems believes or detect any illegal imagery, who would then contact law enforcement if the material can be verified. These new features will initially introduce in the US. Apple cleared out that its system has an error rate of “less than one in 1 trillion” per year and it protects users’ privacy.

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