Tell Apple: Don’t Scan Our Phones
Apple has abandoned its once-famous commitment to security and privacy. The next version of iOS will contain software that scans users’ photos and messages. Under pressure from U.S. law enforcement, Apple has put a backdoor into their encryption system.
Sign our petition and tell Apple to stop its plan to scan our phones. Users need to speak up say this violation of our privacy is wrong.
Don't Scan Our Phones
The “child safety” changes Apple plans to install on iOS 15 and macOS Monterey undermine user privacy, and break the promise of end-to-end encryption.
I urge Apple to reconsider these systems. Continuous scanning of images won’t make kids safer, and may well put more of them in danger. Installing the photo-scanning software on our phones will spur governments around the world to ask for more surveillance and censorship abilities than they already have.
The company plans to scan all photos uploaded to iCloud photos, looking for images of child abuse. Apple also plans to scan the iMessages of minors for a broader range of “sexually explicit” images.
Child abuse is a scourge, but it can be investigated and prosecuted without breaking encryption, or scanning our private personal photos. Crimes against children cannot be an excuse for Apple to install surveillance software that will scan millions of iPhones. This type of “client-side scanning” violates the promise of end-to-end encryption.
Apple is very likely to get pressure to expand the system to search for additional types of content. The system will endanger children, not protect them—especially LGBTQ kids and children in abusive homes. Countries around the world would love to scan for and report matches with their own database of censored material, which could lead to disastrous results, especially for regimes that already track activists and censor online content.
Apple’s image-scanning plans were announced in 2021, but delayed after EFF supporters protested and delivered a petition containing more than 60,000 signatures to Apple executives. In late 2022, Apple officially dropped its plans to install photo-scanning software on its devices, which would have inspected users’ private photos in iCloud and iMessage.