Apple has always been known to introduce new and innovative features to keep users engaged. But what if its “new” feature takes a toll on your privacy? Sounds disheartening? Indeed, it is!
We are straightly pointing fingers toward the iOS 15 Photo Scanning feature. While the feature was introduced to expand Apple’s Communication Safety, it faced much backlash from users, and the company eventually took it down for good.
But here’s the question – what is the iOS 15 Photo Scanning feature, what is it worth, and why does it put Apple in such an ugly state?
Keep scrolling this iOSIdeas guide and find all the tidbits about the same.
Table of Contents
What Exactly is iOS 15 Photo Scanning?
Let’s begin with the basics of the iOS 15 Photo Scanning feature. In August 2021, Apple unveiled its one-of-a-kind feature, Photo Scanning, with a plan to scan photos from Child Sexual Abuse Material.
The tool was meant to preserve children’s privacy and allow the company to report potentially disturbing and abusive content without revealing anything else.
To make it work, all iOS-15-running devices scan for such content on every user’s device and notify the authorities if necessary. So, Apple does scan your private photos under certain circumstances without your knowledge.
How does it sound? It sounded a bit intruding!!
Thankfully, others’ thoughts are pretty similar to ours. Soon after its release, this feature faced intense backlash, bringing Apple to a controversial stage. It soon withdrew widespread criticism for intruding and disrespecting the privacy norms.
While Apple believed that its CSAM scanning would be the best thing it offers to its users and more secure than the competitors, sadly, things didn’t go in their favor, and the rest is history.
How Does Photo Scanning Work in iOS 15?
Are you wondering how the iOS 15 Photo Scanning feature actually works? Whether you accept it or not, you must have wondered that Apple employees might actually be checking your private photos one by one.
However, that’s not the real deal. Unlike what’s assumed or perceived, Apple is not gonna look at everything in your gallery.
Instead, it downloads a database of known CSAM images from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and matches it against the photos in your gallery.
The database is then converted into strings if it finds something fishy or potentially abusive, then a human reviews the matches personally and reports to the concerned authority to minimize the damage.
Is iOS 15’s Photo Scanning Feature Compromising Privacy?
There’s no clear answer to this question, as it depends on how you perceive things and what your thoughts are about Apple’s take to minimize child abuse.
Since no human is checking your gallery for every single photograph, it’s safe to say that your privacy is still intact with Apple.
But what if the opposite is true? Honestly speaking, whether it’s human or software, scanning your gallery anytime without permission might seem intruding, at least to me.
Moreover, everything is misused, and Apple’s iOS 15 Photo Scanning feature is not fully immune to the same. It can get cybercriminals in motion and does more damage than good.
Why Did Apple Decide to Remove the iOS 15 Photo Scanning Feature?
Isn’t the answer pretty obvious?
Apple simply takes down this feature because of the heavy controversy and blame game of competitors.
Owing to this, the company first pauses the roll-out of this feature and then finally removes it from the list once and for all.
While Apple went above and beyond to bring this feature to life, users never accepted it with an open heart, leading to countless controversies.
According to Apple, scanning for CSAM before the material is sent by a child’s device is one of the important features and can help limit the scope of the problem.
Now, only time will tell if Apple will bring this feature with a cover-up or just dump the plan permanently.
Frequently Answered Questions
Q. Can You Stop iOS 15 From Scanning Your Photos?
Ans: Yes, sure. Upload your photos to the iCloud and say goodbye to the intruders for good.
Q. Is the Photo Scanning Feature Still in Apple’s Queue?
Ans. To your surprise, yes. Although Apple has delayed its launch, don’t be surprised if you hear the news of a special event for CSAM implementation.
Countering CSAM is challenging and creates high stakes for kids around the world. But Apple has to think of something different than intruding on everyone’s gallery to search for potentially dangerous content.
That’s a wrap for now. We’ll meet you again with other interesting Apple news. Till then, stay tuned!