EFF Flew a Banner Over Apple Park During Last Apple Event to Protest CSAM Plans

In protest of the company's now delayed CSAM detection plans, the EFF, which has been vocal about Apple's child safety features plans in the past, flew a banner over Apple Park during the iPhone 13 event earlier this month with a message for the Cupertino tech giant.

eff apple park plane 1
During Apple's fully-digital "California streaming" event on September 14, which included no physical audience attendance in Cupertino in favor of pre-recorded segments live-streamed, the EFF decided to fly a plane over ‌Apple Park‌ with the message "Apple: Don't scan our phones! EFF.ORG/APPLE."

The EFF says it opted to use this form of "aerial advertising" to make sure that Apple's CSAM plans don't "fade into the background" and that Apple "hears" them. The EFF also flew the same banner over 1 Infinite Loop, Apple's previous headquarters that it largely vacated four years ago.

eff apple park 3 min
Apple announced in August its plans to use on-device machine learning and its custom-built "NeuralHash" system to detect images of known CSAM images on iPhone users' photo libraries. Following its announcement, privacy advocates and groups, including the EFF, were vocal about its potential privacy risks.

Unlike Google and others who scan for CSAM, or child sexual abuse material, in the cloud, Apple's system instead uses on-device processing to identify CSAM images. The EFF is, however, unsatisfied and has previously called on Apple to abandon its plans entirely.

On September 3, Apple announced it would be delaying CSAM detection, which was meant to roll out later this fall, to "collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features." The EFF, in a blog post, says it will independently be holding events with "various groups" to collect research and suggestions, some of which it says could be helpful to the tech giant amid the delay.

Now that Apple's September event is over, Apple must reach out to groups that have criticized it and seek a wider range of suggestions on how to deal with difficult problems, like protecting children online. EFF, for its part, will be holding an event with various groups that work in this space to share research and concerns that Apple and other tech companies should find useful.

Apple's child safety feature plans, besides CSAM detection, includes enhanced protection of children from unsolicited images. To learn more about Apple's plans, read up on our guide.

Top Rated Comments

mainemini Avatar
14 months ago
Good for EFF. Keep up the pressure on Apple to give up this bad idea. I suspect there are plenty of law enforcement agencies and governments very interested in using this for other purposes.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sh20 Avatar
14 months ago
I don’t understand Apple on this one, they have been pitching themselves as the privacy friendly company amongst tech giants and still claim that as one of their advantages; yet working on a feature that scans all your photos..? it just doesn’t make sense to me.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
14 months ago
Just dismissed the whole CSAM, Apple. What do you not understand? It's OK to admit you were wrong!



Attachment Image
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
14 months ago
I think Apple will skip this one. The risk for them is too great. Makes no sense. Why use the photo library of nearly billion devices to catch few criminals? Let the people who get paid by our taxes to do their job without using our devices.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matrix07 Avatar
14 months ago

I don’t understand Apple on this one, they have been pitching themselves as the privacy friendly company amongst tech giants and still claim that as one of their advantages; yet working on a feature that scans all your photos..? it just doesn’t make sense to me.
I chuckled every time Apple said “Privacy” in their iPhone keynote.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
14 months ago
One of the worst ideas Apple ever had.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

AppleEventLogoFeature

Spring Apple Event Invites Could Be Sent Out Tomorrow

Monday February 28, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Update: We now have invites for a March 8 event! Apple uncharacteristically sent them out less than a week ahead of the event. Invites for Apple's widely expected spring event could be sent out tomorrow if recent reports prove to be correct. In early February, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple was planning to host a special event on Tuesday, March 8. Gurman then reiterated the ...
Child Safety Feature yellow

Apple Removes All References to Controversial CSAM Scanning Feature From Its Child Safety Webpage [Updated]

Wednesday December 15, 2021 1:53 am PST by
Apple has quietly nixed all mentions of CSAM from its Child Safety webpage, suggesting its controversial plan to detect child sexual abuse images on iPhones and iPads may hang in the balance following significant criticism of its methods. Apple in August announced a planned suite of new child safety features, including scanning users' iCloud Photos libraries for Child Sexual Abuse Material...
march 2022 event ar logo

Apple's March 8 'Peek Performance' Event Page Features Animated AR Logo

Wednesday March 2, 2022 9:42 am PST by
Apple today announced that its first event of 2022 will take place on Tuesday, March 8. Featuring the tagline "Peek Performance," the event is now featured on Apple's events website, and if you visit the page on an iPhone or iPad, you can see an augmented reality version of the logo Apple created. Nested Apple icons in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple are featured in this...
march 2022 twitter hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for March 8 'Peek Performance' Apple Event Goes Live

Thursday March 3, 2022 12:37 am PST by
A "hashflag" for Apple's upcoming "Peek Performance" event has gone live on Twitter, offering users a special stylized Apple logo alongside "#AppleEvent" as a means to promote and increase visibility for the event. According to Jane Manchun Wong's Hashflag Browser, the hashflag will remain live on the platform until March 11 and is designated under "#AppleEvent," "#EventoDaApple," and...
Google Logo Feature Slack

Google I/O to Take Place in May, Will Once Again Be Online

Wednesday March 16, 2022 3:16 pm PDT by
Google today announced that its annual Google I/O developers conference is set to take place on Wednesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 12, about a month ahead of when we're expecting Apple to hold the annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai shared the news this afternoon, and he said the event will be "live from Shoreline Amphitheatre," with the content available...
march 2022 event nope

Here's What Not to Expect at Tomorrow's 'Peek Performance' Apple Event

Thursday March 3, 2022 11:06 am PST by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, March 8, under the tagline "Peek Performance," where it is expected to announce a new iPhone SE, iPad Air, and at least one new Mac. Apple is thought to have a busy year of product announcements in store for 2022, including multiple new Macs, at least three new Apple Watches, new iPhones, and more. Next week's event is the...
Google Logo Feature Slack

Google Launching Privacy Sandbox to Limit Ad Tracking on Android, Calls 'Blunt Approaches' Like Apple's 'Ineffective'

Wednesday February 16, 2022 7:50 am PST by
Google has announced plans to strengthen user privacy on Android with a new initiative that will put an end to cross-app tracking on Android over the next two years, making it more difficult for advertisers to track users across other apps. In a blog post, Google announced a multi-year project named "Privacy Sandbox" that introduces "more private advertising solutions" for mobile apps. The...
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...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
magsafe charger orange

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware

Tuesday October 4, 2022 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that is designed to work with the iPhone 12 and later and the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 10M1821, up from the prior 10M229 firmware. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a different version number than the firmware number, with the update displayed as version 255.0.0.0 (the prior firmware was 247.0.0.0). The...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...