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.

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...

Top Rated Comments

mainemini Avatar
36 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
36 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
36 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
36 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
36 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
36 months ago
One of the worst ideas Apple ever had.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)