Urgent Apple warning for one billion iPhone & iPad users after privacy fears raised about child abuse detection system

AN urgent new warning has been issued for more than a billion iPhone and iPad users after privacy fears were raised about Apple's child abuse detection system.

A new report says that fundamental flaws were found in Apple's new Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM) detection system, which the company was planning to launch across all iPhones and iPads using iOS 115.

According to Forbes, the detection system works by comparing image hashes of pictures shared between iOS users to databases provided by child safety organizations.

If matches are found then authorities are notified.

However, a team of researchers at Imperial College London found that the whole CSAM detection system can be bypassed by applying a hashtag filter to an image.

The filter sends an alternative hashtag to the detection system. The researchers found that this hack fooled the system 99.9% of the time.

Apple could increase the hash size to avoid the issue, according to the researchers, but that would increase the risk of false positives and encode more user data into images, raising privacy concerns.

Given the security questions, it's unclear exactly when Apple will launch its CSAM detection system.

The company already delayed releasing the system until at least 2022.

This is not the first time the plans to implement the system have been called into question, according to Forbes.

Edward Snowden slammed CSAM over the summer, saying it will "permanently redefine what belongs to you, and what belongs to them.

He went don't to slam Apple for "distributing spyware on its own devices."

“I can’t think of any other company that has so proudly, and so publicly, distributed spyware to its own devices," he said.

"There is no fundamental technological limit to how far the precedent Apple is establishing can be pushed, meaning the only restraint is Apple’s all-too-flexible company policy, something governments understand all too well.”

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