Earlier this month, Apple unveiled a system that would scan iPhone and iPad photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The announcement sparked a civil liberties firestorm, and Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm. The company insists reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.” We disagree.
We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and we concluded the technology was dangerous. We’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works. The problem is, we understand exactly how it works.
Jonathan Mayer is an assistant professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University. He previously served as technology counsel to then-Sen. Kamala D. Harris and as chief technologist of the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau. Anunay Kulshrestha is a graduate researcher at the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy and a PhD candidate in the department of computer science.
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