The Heat Initiative, a child safety advocacy group, launched a multi-million dollar campaign against Apple to pressure the company to reinstate iCloud CSAM detection.
The Heat Initiative says it will launch a campaign against Apple after pressuring the tech giant on why it dropped plans to release a Child Sexually Abusive Material (CSAM) detection tool on Apple devices and iCloud.
The launch comes after Apple provided the most detailed response yet on why they dropped their plans, citing that they would uphold user privacy.
In response to Apple, the Heat Initiative officially launched their campaign on the official website. The advocacy group issued a front-page statement that read, ‘Sexual abuse of children is stored in iCloud. Apple allows it.’
“Apple’s landmark announcement to detect child sexual abuse images and videos in 2021 was quietly reversed, impacting the lives of children around the world. Every day that passes, there are children suffering because of this inaction, which is why we are calling to Apple to fulfill their commitments.” Thus the statement reads as reported detikINET from Apple Insider.
The website contains alleged case studies detailing several cases where iCloud was used to store sexually harassing content, including photos, videos, and explicit messages.
The site asks Apple to detect, report, and remove sexually abusive images and videos from iCloud, and establish a strong reporting mechanism for users to report child sexual abuse images and videos to Apple.
The company provided a copy of the letter sent directly to Tim Cook, who said they were shocked and discouraged by Apple’s decision to reverse course and not institute CSAM detection measures.
The letter also includes a button that allows the visitor to send a pre-written email demanding action from Apple to the entire Apple executive team.
Child Sexual Abuse Content is a serious ongoing problem that Apple is trying to address with on-device detection tools and iCloud. These controversial tools eventually failed to release in December 2022, leaving even more controversy in its wake.
The Heat Initiative is not alone in its efforts. As seen by 9to5mac, Christian Brothers Investment Services and Degroof Petercam each filed and supported shareholder resolutions on the topic.
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