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The general public has no understanding of what a file hash is. So the techies at Apple have no understanding of how the general public perceives what they are doing. They just think Apple is scanning their phone. I’m not a huge Bill Maher fan, but I agree with him here. It’s a slippery slope that Apple is embarking on.
This information shows that Steve Jobs was looking at product differentiation based on lower cost and smaller size. Apple would do well to continue with that strategy. I would not recommend discontinuing the iPhone 12 mini for those reasons. Having older models at a lower price is one approach. But I’d prefer the latest tech in a smaller package at a lower price.
Apple can do no wrong in the eyes of many. This new feature that Apple has developed is wrong. It’s a bad capability put to good use. The objective of reducing the transmission of CSAM is good. But it’s like plugging leaks in the proverbial dike. It makes the transmission of illicit content more difficult but If implemented it will just force the use of other pathways to move the content about. However the byproduct of this action- the scanning of content of people’s devices- will be disastrous. Now that governments know there is an ability for Apple to interrogate the content on people’s devices it won’t be long before governments require Apple to perform other types of content scanning on devices. Governments routinely require Apple to divulge iCloud content. That content is not encrypted. Users had the option of keeping content secured from government eyes by keeping content on their devices and out of iCloud. This capability will mark the beginning of the end of that security. This capability is totally at odds with Apple’s heretofore emphasis on the privacy and security of content on their devices. The law of unintended consequences is going to have a significant impact if this capability is implemented. This is an example of the old Ben Franklin adage about giving up some freedom to have better security and having neither as a result. I’m surprised that Apple leadership hasn’t thought through this decision better and I’m fairly sure the marketing department at Apple somehow sees this as being beneficial to the company and revenues - which I think is decidedly wrong.