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.

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
12 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
12 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
12 months ago
Looks like they want to clear the path for iPhone season.
Score: 107 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
12 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
12 months ago
Very good, glad the groundswell has them revisiting it
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Airforcekid Avatar
12 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)

Related Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.1 With SharePlay

Monday December 13, 2021 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.1, the first major update to the macOS Monterey update that initially launched in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The ‌‌macOS Monterey‌ update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. Apple has also released a macOS Big Sur 11.6.2 update for those still...
Child Safety Feature

Facebook's Former Security Chief Discusses Controversy Around Apple's Planned Child Safety Features

Tuesday August 10, 2021 5:50 am PDT by
Amid the ongoing controversy around Apple's plans to implement new child safety features that would involve scanning messages and users' photos libraries, Facebook's former security chief, Alex Stamos, has weighed into the debate with criticisms of multiple parties involved and suggestions for the future. In an extensive Twitter thread, Stamos said that there are "no easy answers" in the...
iphone communication safety feature arned

Apple's New Feature That Scans Messages for Nude Photos is Only for Children, Parental Notifications Limited to Kids Under 13

Thursday August 5, 2021 2:50 pm PDT by
Apple today announced a series of new child safety initiatives that are coming alongside the latest iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey updates and that are aimed at keeping children safer online. One of the new features, Communication Safety, has raised privacy concerns because it allows Apple to scan images sent and received by the Messages app for sexually explicit content, but Apple...
eff logo lockup cleaned

EFF Pressures Apple to Completely Abandon Controversial Child Safety Features

Monday September 6, 2021 3:18 am PDT by
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said it is "pleased" with Apple's decision to delay the launch of of its controversial child safety features, but now it wants Apple to go further and completely abandon the rollout. Apple on Friday said it was delaying the planned features to "take additional time over the coming months to collect input and making improvements," following negative...
iOS 15

Apple Releasing iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 Next Week

Tuesday March 8, 2022 10:22 am PST by
Apple today said iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 will be available to all users next week, following weeks of developer and public beta testing. iOS 15.4 includes major new features for iPhone users, with the most notable perhaps being the ability for users to unlock their iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mask. Apple said that it's been able to update the Face ID system to uniquely identify...
communication safety 1

iOS 15.2 Beta Adds Messages Communication Safety Feature for Kids

Tuesday November 9, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple over the summer announced new Child Safety features that are aimed at keeping children safer online. Apple has confirmed that one of those features, Communication Safety in Messages, has been enabled in the second beta of iOS 15.2 that was released today, after hints of it appeared in the first beta. Note that Communication Safety is not the same as the controversial anti-CSAM feature that...
craig wwdc 2021 privacy

Craig Federighi Acknowledges Confusion Around Apple Child Safety Features and Explains New Details About Safeguards

Friday August 13, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, has today defended the company's controversial planned child safety features in a significant interview with The Wall Street Journal, revealing a number of new details about the safeguards built into Apple's system for scanning users' photos libraries for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Federighi admitted that Apple...
General iOS 15

Apple Seeds Release Candidate Versions of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 to Developers

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:05 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC versions of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, less than a week after seeding the fourth betas and six weeks after the launch of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. iOS and iPadOS 15.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad. iOS and iPadOS ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...