The EFF, a digital rights group, asks Apple not to implement features to limit the dissemination of child pornography in future updates.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it was “happy” with Apple’s decision to postpone the launch of its controversial child safety features, but now it wants the company to abandon the project entirely.

On Friday, Apple said it will postpone the launch of planned features to “take more time to make improvements”, following negative feedback from a wide range of individuals and organizations, including security research, political groups and even some employees of the company itself. .

Planned features include scanning users’ iCloud photo libraries for child pornography (CSAM) material, to alert children and their parents when they receive or send sexually explicit photos.

Now, the EFF has said it is “pleased that Apple is now listening to users’ concerns”, but “the company must go beyond just listening and completely abandon its plans to insert a backdoor into its encryption. “

The digital rights group’s statement reiterated its earlier criticisms of the expected features, which it called “a decrease in privacy for all iCloud Photos users‌‌, not an improvement,” and warned that Apple’s move to scan iCloud‌‌ messages and libraries may be legally required by authoritarian governments to include additional materials.

It also highlighted a number of petitions that have been organized in opposition to the aforementioned features:

The responses to Apple’s plans have been overwhelming: over 90 organizations around the world have urged the company not to implement them, for fear that they would lead to censorship of the protected word, threaten the privacy and safety of people around the world, and because they could have disastrous consequences for many children. This week, EFF’s petition reached 25,000 signatures. This is in addition to other petitions from groups such as Fight for the Future and OpenMedia, for a total of over 50,000 signatures. The huge coalition that has expressed itself will continue to demand that users’ phones, both their messages and their photos, be protected and that the company fulfills its promise to provide true privacy to its users.

The suite of child safety features was originally supposed to debut in the US through a future update of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey. It is unclear when Apple plans to roll out the “critical” features or how it intends to “improve” them in light of so much criticism, but the company still seems determined to go that way.

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