Apple delays rollout of child safety features

Last month, announced a handful of new child safety features that proved to be controversial, including CSAM detection for iCloud Photos. Now, Apple has said they will “take additional time” to refine the features before launching to the public.

Apple’s new child safety features were set to launch as part of updates to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey later this year. There is now no word on when the company plans to roll out the features. Apple’s statement today does not provide any details on what changes the company could make to improve the system.

Upon announcement, the new CSAM detection technology received quite a bit of pushback and criticism from privacy advocates. Apple, however, doubled down on the feature multiple times, and said that its implementation would actually be more privacy-preserving than technology used by other companies like Google and Facebook.

It was also revealed through this process that Apple already scans iCloud Mail for CSAM, with the expansion applying to iCloud Photos.

Other child safety features announced by Apple last month, and also now delayed, include communications safety features in Messages and updated knowledge information for Siri and Search.

What do you make of Apple’s decision to delay the rollout of its new child safety features? Is it the right decision, or should the company have stuck to its initial plan?

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