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Apple urged to abandon child safety features

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The tech giant is defending its new features, aimed at preventing the spread of child sexual abuse material, despite mounting pressure from privacy advocates.

Apple plans to scan iCloud photos for child sexual abuse images, and says its “method of detecting known CSAM (child sexual abuse material) is designed with user privacy in mind”.

The company has also announced a parental control option, which warns children and their parents when they are about to view or send sexually explicit photos in the Messages app.

But privacy groups claim the new features will “create new risks for children”.

Concerns have also been raised that the scanning software “could be used to censor speech and threaten the privacy and security of people around the world”.

A coalition of more than 90 rights groups has now written to Apple CEO Tim Cook, outlining their concerns, and urging the tech titan to abandon its plans to introduce the new features.

The signatories include civil rights, human rights and digital rights groups.


“Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children.”

Letter sent to apple ceo tim cook

The coalition of rights groups has raised concerns that the scan and alert feature in Messages “could result in alerts that threaten the safety and wellbeing of some young people.

The groups say LGBTQ+ youths with unsympathetic parents are particularly at risk.

They also claim that once the “CSAM hash scanning for photos is built into Apple products, the company will face enormous pressure, and possibly legal requirements, from governments around the world to scan for all sorts of images that the governments find objectionable”.

Apple defends its child safety features

Apple has sought to allay concerns, pushing back against claims that the technology will be used for other purposes.

The trillion-dollar company insists it won’t give in to pressure from any government to use the technology for other surveillance purposes.

Apple says it “will refuse any such demands”

“Let us be clear, this technology is limited to detecting CSAM child sexual abuse material stored in iCloud and we will not accede to any government’s request to expand it.”

“We have faced demands to build and deploy government-mandated changes that degrade the privacy of users before, and have steadfastly refused those demands. We will continue to refuse them in the future,” Apple said in a recent FAQ.

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Media

BuzzFeed to use ChatGPT-created content on website

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BuzzFeed is set to go by on A.I-generated content, with the company to use ChatGPT to create content for the site

The media giant plans to use the service to generate quizzes and further personalise its user experience.

“If the past 15 years of the internet have been defined by algorithmic feeds that curate and recommend content, the next 15 years will be defined by AI and data helping create, personalise and animate the content itself,” BuzzFeed Chief Executive Jonah Peretti recently said.

BuzzFeed recently announced that it would be cutting 12 per cent of its workforce to rein in costs.

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Tech

Twitter updates font on mobile & web versions

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Have you noticed something different about Twitter?

 
Well, the social media giant has changed the font on its web and mobile app.

Apple users, sorry, you’re stuck with the old one.

It’s unclear why Twitter made the change, but it may have to do with spotting impersonators.

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Business

Justice Department & states sue Google in anti-trust lawsuit

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The Department of Justice and a handful of states have sued Google over the company’s dominance in the digital ad space.

 
This is the second anti-trust lawsuit the D.O.J. has filed against Google.

The D.O.J. and states are seeking to unwind Google’s alleged anti-competitive acquisitions in the advertising space, as part of the joint case.

“We alleged that Google has used anti-competitive exclusionary and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference.

“Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, & unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its [digital ad] dominance.”

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