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
9 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
9 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
9 months ago
Looks like they want to clear the path for iPhone season.
Score: 107 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
9 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
9 months ago
Very good, glad the groundswell has them revisiting it
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Airforcekid Avatar
9 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

iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...