Apple plan to view your images

Tech giant Apple is reportedly rolling out new technology which will enable them to view your iPhone images without you knowing.

It’s been said that the move by Apple is so they can identify if you have any illegal imagery stored on your phone, mainly concerning child abuse.

The tech rollout will use algorithms programmed by Apple to crawl through your photos and then use photo identification software to identify whether or not the image looks suspicious.

We don’t yet know whether the images will also be viewed by a human, but it’s believed that they will because the rollout, known as “client-side tool for CSAM scanning”, if like similar scanning algorithms, won’t be 100% accurate. Meaning it is likely to give false positive reports and launch a further investigation into your images.

As the scan is rolled out, it will be automatically downloaded to your iPhone and begin scanning through all of your photos so Apple can view your images and send reports back to their servers for verification and stored on iCloud for later reference.

It’s said that the images will be stored as end-to-end (E2E) encrypted, however, Apple also holds the key to decrypt the images and make them visible to the human eye. This means that, if required by a law enforcement agency, Apple will have to release the images to them. It’s said that Apple already allows government agencies access to their fingerprint database, so a jump to image access seems like the next logical step for Apple in the fight against crime.

But not everyone feels comfortable with the tech giant developing and implementing a system that can access all of its users’ images, whether they’re encrypted or not.

With cryptography and security expert Matthew Green saying:

“The way Apple is doing this launch, they’re going to start with non-E2E photos that people have already shared with the cloud. So it doesn’t “hurt” anyone’s privacy. But you have to ask why anyone would develop a system like this if scanning E2E photos wasn’t the goal”

Governments from all over the world have wanted to develop a system like this that can crack end-to-end encrypted messages and images for years. And now, Apple’s new development could be the answer. The question is, what if it gets into the wrong hands, will it always be used for good?

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