Apple Delays Rollout of Controversial Child Safety Features to Make Improvements

Apple has delayed the rollout of the Child Safety Features that it announced last month following negative feedback, the company has today announced.

Child Safety Feature Blue
The planned features include scanning users' iCloud Photos libraries for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), Communication Safety to warn children and their parents when receiving or sending sexually explicit photos, and expanded CSAM guidance in Siri and Search.

Apple confirmed that feedback from customers, non-profit and advocacy groups, researchers, and others about the plans has prompted the delay to give the company time to make improvements. Apple issued the following statement about its decision:

Last month we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.

Following their announcement, the features were criticized by a wide range of individuals and organizations, including security researchers, the privacy whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Facebook's former security chief, politicians, policy groups, university researchers, and even some Apple employees. Apple has since endeavored to dispel misunderstandings and reassure users by releasing detailed information, sharing FAQs, various new documents, interviews with company executives, and more.

The suite of Child Safety Features were originally set to debut in the United States with an update to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey. It is now unclear when Apple plans to roll out the "critically important" features, but the company still appears to be intent on releasing them.

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Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
37 months ago
Oh God! Don’t just delay it. CANCEL THIS, Apple. Can’t you see… people won’t be ordering the new iPhone 13 if you launch this child safety crap.
Score: 182 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tonywalker23 Avatar
37 months ago
YES!

“Ultimately, saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say. Or that you don’t care about freedom of the press because you don’t like to read. Or that you don’t care about freedom of religion because you don’t believe in God. Or that you don’t care about the freedom to peaceably assemble because you’re a lazy, antisocial agoraphobe. Just because this or that freedom might not have meaning to you today doesn’t mean that it doesn’t or won’t have meaning tomorrow, to you, or to your neighbor – or to the crowds of principled dissidents I was following on my phone who were protesting halfway across the planet, hoping to gain just a fraction of the freedom that my country was busily dismantling.”

Ed Snowden, Permanent Record, pp. 208–209
Score: 137 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HeavenDynamic Avatar
37 months ago
Looks like they want to clear the path for iPhone season.
Score: 107 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
37 months ago
MacRumors I can’t wait for the day when you post in the headline “Apple decides to cancel CSAM, period”.

Don’t lose your vision, Apple.

When it comes to privacy I want to have World-Class Protection from, Apple.



Attachment Image
Score: 98 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fenderbass146 Avatar
37 months ago
Very good, glad the groundswell has them revisiting it
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Airforcekid Avatar
37 months ago
Just going to wait until everyone forgets and do a quite release a .1 update with some security enhancement etc..
Score: 83 Votes (Like | Disagree)