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The Epic CEO comments on Apple calling out its new iCloud update, its iCloud Photos & child safety initiatives, calling it an idea for governments to conduct surveillance. Adding to the downpour of criticism against Apple, Sweeney tweeted complaining about Apple’s initiative.
Despite trying hard to look at it from Apple’s perspective, it does seem like government spyware installed by Apple based on a presumption of guilt, according to Sweeney. Apple has launched tools to help protect children online and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
This is completely on a different scale from content moderation on a public forum, before the operator decides to host the data publicly, Apple can scan it for, however. But this is peoples’ private data, adds Sweeney. Sweeney’s accusations on personal data scanning, it isn’t how Apple’s system works.
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Instead of looking at the image itself, the system scans and compares mathematical hashes of files stored on iCloud, this scanning applies to iCloud Photos only. Sweeney’s claims of Apple using dark patterns to turn on iCloud uploads by default do somewhat seem outlandish.
What might be the reason for Epic CEO comments on Apple?
Sweeney concluded the tweet with- Liberty is built on due process & limited government. Epic CEO is quite known for attacking Apple on Twitter through and after the Major App Store lawsuit, as Chinese tech colossus Tencent owns a 40% stake in the game developer and publisher.
The existential threat of an unholy alliance between the government and the monopolies who control online discourse and everyone’s devices does seem to be an issue of concern. Even WeChat is perceived as a tool used to monitor, censor speech, and punish political opponents who speak ill about the government.
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