Australia Stands Firm on Technology to Combat Child Abuse | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Australia’s eSafety commissioner remains steadfast in its commitment to implementing technology that would scan cloud storage services for images of child abuse, despite Apple’s decision to abandon its own development of such technology. Apple’s decision to focus on on-device prompts instead of cloud scanning was met with criticism from child safety groups and regulators.

In response to calls from the child safety group, Heat Initiative, to scan iCloud photos for child abuse, Apple outlined its concerns about the potential misuse of the technology. The proposed scanning technology would have allowed Apple to detect known child abuse imagery before it was uploaded to iCloud. However, Apple concluded that implementing the technology would compromise the security and privacy of its users, posing unintended consequences.

Apple’s director of user privacy and child safety, Erik Neuenschwander, explained that scanning all users’ privately stored iCloud content would create new opportunities for data thieves and open the door for mass surveillance. He raised concerns about potential misuse of the technology, such as using it for political or religious persecution. Neuenschwander stated that tools of mass surveillance have significant implications for freedom of speech and democracy.

Australia’s eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, had previously declined to register industry codes that did not include measures to detect and prevent the distribution of child abuse material. Grant’s office is currently developing a mandatory standard that will likely require technology similar to what Apple had been developing. Despite Apple’s decision, the eSafety commissioner remains committed to implementing standards that address the risk of child sexual abuse material on online platforms, including Apple’s services in Australia.

While Apple’s letter outlining its concerns had no direct impact on the development of the standards, the eSafety commissioner confirmed that draft standards will be published for public consultation in the future.

Sources:
– Guardian Australia (original article)

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