Apple: A Free Speech and Privacy Win for the Time Being

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By Quentin Choy

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece expressing concern over Apple’s proposal to do wide sweeps of their users’ photo galleries in attempts to limit explicit child images from spreading.

You can read that piece here: “Apple’s Disastrous New Proposal Could Destroy User Privacy

While Apple’s proposal may not have necessarily been a legal issue or a constitutional violation, the decision regarding privacy was certainly a slippery slope away from free speech and user privacy.

I cited Apple’s previous statements on user privacy and their unwillingness to violate their privacy standards during U.S. government pressure following a terrorist attack in San Bernardino back in 2015.

Apple released a comment today, saying:

“Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.”

Statement from Apple

Ultimately, it seems that Apple has heard the concerns of its users who can see the slippery slope away from privacy, despite Apple’s good intentions.

Very rarely are free speech and privacy wins celebrated, and even more rarely do they last.

Let’s hope that this stance by Apple remains in place alongside user privacy.

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