Remember Apple's initiative to scan photos on user's devices to find child pornography?
Today I finally decided to research this.
The evidence is conflicting.
For context, the database of prohibited material is called CSAM (child sexual abuse material).

“If it finds any CSAM, it will report the user to law enforcement.”
— Futurism

“Apple said neither feature would compromise the security of private communications or notify police.”

CSAM initiative is dead. It won't scan photos in iCloud. It won't scan photos on your device. It will be a feature that only works in some countries, only on children's devices, and it will be opt-in. It will only work for iMessage attachments.

This is what Apple actually said at https://www.apple.com/child-safety:
- “Features available in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK, and U.S.”
- “The Messages app includes tools to warn children when receiving or sending photos that contain nudity. These features are not enabled by default. If parents opt in, these warnings will be turned on for the child accounts in their Family Sharing plan.”

News outlets telling people they will be automatically reported to authorities, and then telling there can be false-positives is a classic example of fearmongering. I hate this. Remember, anger and fear are the most marketable emotions. They make you click. News are and will always be worded to cause these emotions — it brings in money.

When presented with good news, people think they're not being told the truth. When presented with bad news, even when they're made up, people think it's the truth that's being hidden from them. This is how news works.

Now, a HUGE but:
Apple is a multi-billion dollar corporation. There is no such thing as good billionaires. Corporations will always wait for chances to invade privacy. It's like boiling the frog — one tiny measure here, one there, and just like this, step by step, they will eliminate the privacy completely. It's in their interest to have all the data about you. It brings control.
This is not the first time Apple tries to do shit like this, and it definitely won't be the last. You have to keep an eye on your privacy. If you want your privacy in the digital age, it's necessary to fight back. If you live in Europe, take the action and vote for initiatives that oppose corporate tyranny and privacy invasions.

Privacy on the internet is one thing, but scanning people's devices is a whole another thing. This is unacceptable no matter the rationale behind it. Expect more measures like that in the near future.

Research Linux. Find a distro that suits you. The notion that you can't switch because of apps/UI/etc. may be dictated by our brain's tendency to conserve energy and avoid the change.
Take a look at mobile distros like Graphene OS and LineageOS. The former only supports Pixel devices, the latter supports a wide range of devices including OnePlus and Xiaomi. They'll have FAR better privacy than iPhones.

Consider switching. It's easier than you think. Yes, it's me who's saying this. I do and will always protect people/companies from unjust criticism, and I consider myself an Apple fangirl for personal reasons related to my childhood, yet I won't fight blindly. CSAM initiative is a valid criticism, and there's nothing preventing me from saying this is unacceptable, and Apple deserves the backlash they got.

  • 7
    Not too relevant, still going to drop this here.
  • 1
    @Nanos major difference here is that that is posted on the "public" facing part of Facebook.

    Apple's thing intruded in private chats and there were even rumors that it reached iCloud galleries (however this was never officially confirmed)
  • 0
    @Nanos because that’s an emergent phenomenon
  • 2
    @Nanos trees are hard 😉
  • 1
    There will come a time in which Linux is not even safe from this. But that is not my thing, my thing is: you cannot trust people.

    At the same time, who do you trust more? A company, that wants to keep existing because of money that can be more aligned with the interest of its consumers, or the government which exists because "haha we get money either way!"

    I trust Apple more than I trust my government, and that says a lot, especially as an American.

    This is not a win/win scenario, but I prefer the policing comes from a company doing things because it is protecting its assets than a government that will either way get my tax dollars.
  • 2
    @AleCx04 Linux is harder to force into these directions though. Don't like features in a new kernel? Don't install it. Don't like not knowing what's going on in the background? Go Gentoo. Like to have 100% fine grained controll? Finish the LFS book.

    There are tons of options, other (consumer) OSs just don't even have this spectrum. You have windows or you don't. No grades of control or choice.
  • 0
    @Nanos read about emergence and come back
  • 2
    @PotatoCookie that in itself is very true, but it requires a good deal of technical capacity which we know most people are not willing to get into.
  • 0
    @Nanos borh can be sit on.
  • 0
    @Nanos scanning for the purpose of finding viruses and other malware or illegal content.
  • 0
    "But remember, it's just for your protection bruh!!1!"
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