Privacy whistleblower Edward Snowden has criticized Apple Inc.’s AAPL controversial plan to scan users’ iPhones for child sexual abuse material (CSAM), saying that the tech giant has “declared war” on users’ privacy.
What Happened: “Apple’s new system, regardless of how anyone tries to justify it, will permanently redefine what belongs to you, and what belongs to them,” Snowden said in his “Continuing Ed” blog on Substack.
The proposal by a “pro-privacy” company like Apple marks the dawn of a “dark future” and is a “disaster-in-the-making,” the NSA whistleblower warned.
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Snowden noted that a user’s iPhone will now perform searches on behalf of Apple even before the images reach the iCloud servers and will notify law enforcement if enough “forbidden content” is discovered.
Once the precedent has been set for Apple to make products that “betray” their users and owners, Apple itself will lose all control over how that precedent is applied, the prominent privacy campaigner added.
See Also: Apple Gets This 'Massive Sum' From Google To Be The Default Search Engine On iOS
Why It Matters: Security experts and privacy experts are worried that the new technology could be eventually be expanded to scan phones for other prohibited content. It could also be used by authoritarian governments to spy on dissidents and protestors.
Will Cathcart, the head of Facebook Inc.’s FB WhatsApp instant messaging app, had criticized the Tim Cook-led company's plan to launch the new features, calling it a “setback for people’s privacy all over the world.”
Price Action: Apple shares closed 0.8% lower in Wednesday’s trading at $148.36.
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