Apple delays launch of controversial child safety features


Apple says “based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others” it is delaying plans to introduce “critically important child safety features” because it wants to take more time to “make improvements” after privacy concerns were raised.

Apple has announced that it is delaying the rollout of controversial child safety features which it had planned to launch later this year.

The length of the delay is not clear, but the company faced significant criticism following the announcement in August of its CSAM (child sexual abuse material) detection system, which involved automatically scanning iPhone pictures before they are uploaded to iCloud.

Chief among the fears of academics and security experts was that the system could be modified to search for non-CSAM images that may be of interest to government authorities.

In a statement on Friday, Apple described the plans as “features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of CSAM”.