Apple has just announced new measures to protect children. Among these, a new system that allows the firm to track pedophiles by analyzing the images transferred to iCloud in the United States and by reporting all those listed in a national database of child pornography images.
has just announced the implementation of a new function on iPhone and aimed at protecting children. Images sent to its iCloud online storage will be analyzed to detect child pornography images. Already launched in the test phase, it will be extended to all users in the United States with the launch of the update this .
The photos will be processed locally, directly on the user’s device. Before being transferred to their iCloud space, they will be submitted to a, which calculates a footprint . It is this fingerprint that will then be compared to a database provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This database will be directly integrated into iOS 15 and will contain the fingerprints of all child pornography images already listed.
An alert is launched beyond a certain threshold
This method ensures thedata, since all the processing is done locally, and only the cryptographic fingerprint is compared. If the system detects a match with the database, it sends the result along with additional data, in encrypted form, to iCloud along with the photo. From a certain, unspecified threshold, an Apple employee will be able to access these images in order to determine whether they actually correspond to child pornography. If applicable, deactivates the user’s account and contacts NCMEC.
Other online storage services have already implemented similar systems. However, that ofcan only report images that have already been identified by the authorities. There is no analysis of the content of the images, so the system does not risk flagging parents when they take pictures of their children in the bath, for example.