Apple spies on iCloud users’ emails for child pornography images
While many people worry about Apple’s new plan to scan iPhones for child pornography images, the company has confirmed that it has been scanning users’ iCloud Mail accounts already, and has been for years.
Earlier this month, Apple revealed that it plans to start scanning iPhones and iCloud accounts in the United States for content that may qualify as child pornography (CSAM) with the release of iOS 15.
However, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, the iPhone maker has already been scanning emails from email accounts linked to iCloud since 2019. Yet, Apple did not clearly warn its users that it was spying on their emails. So the vast majority of iCloud Mail users probably had no idea what was going on.
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Apple spies on iCloud user privacy
As our colleague Ben Lovejoy from 9To5Mac notes, iCloud emails would not even be the only information that Apple has already scanned. ” Apple also said it was doing a limited scan for other data, but wouldn’t tell me what it was. “.
This practice would not be so secret, however, since Lovejoy also cites an Apple page on child safety, now archived, which mentions the analysis of e-mails. Additionally, the company’s privacy officer Jane Horvath reportedly previously mentioned CSAM scanning technology. during a conference in early 2020.
Apple’s public acknowledgment that it is already scanning data in iCloud Mail will likely give many users the impression that their privacy has been violated, at a time when respect for confidentiality is a hot topic.
It is good to remember that these emails are not encrypted, and that it is therefore a less serious invasion of privacy than the Apple project. Indeed, the latter intends to analyze photos and encrypted messages sent by users on iMessage. The whistleblower Edward Snowden also fears that the system put in place by Apple will eventually be used for other purposes. ” No matter how good the intentions are, Apple is rolling out mass surveillance around the world. Make no mistake: if they can search child porn today, they can search anything tomorrow. Snowden warns.