Apple delays launch of feature that would scan photos for child abuse


Apple Inc is delaying a system that would have scanned customers’ photos for signs of child sex abuse after fierce criticism from privacy advocates. — Dreamstime/TNS

Apple Inc is delaying a system that would have scanned customers’ photos for signs of child sex abuse after fierce criticism from privacy advocates, who feared it could set the stage for other forms of tracking.

The company had announced the feature in early August, along with other tools meant to protect children and root out illicit pornography, and quickly faced concerns that it would create a backdoor through the company’s highly prized privacy measures. Apple scrambled to contain the controversy in the following weeks, saying it would tap an independent auditor to oversee the system, but the outcry persisted.

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