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Apple to install spyware on Phones / Macs / Etc (Page 2)
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reader50  (op)
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Aug 21, 2021, 10:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In a sense, a lot of the criticisms of Apple‘s program, while apt in many aspects, tends to forget that other companies already have much more invasive automated scanning programs in place.
This is dangerously close to: Other companies do it, so we should concede this part of our privacy. ie - once at least two parties do something, we retreat. That approach will leave nothing private in the end.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think this goes further: advertisers combine information from lots of sources (including credit card info), and they are able to reconstruct a lot about your life. I‘m officially single on Facebook, because my wife wants to protect her privacy. But Facebook surely knows simply by looking at our IP addresses. Advertisers are even able to target friends of yours indirectly by showing ads to you.
This story is from 2012. The state of the art has surely gotten "better" since then. Target (a variety store chain) began sending pregnancy-item coupons to a teen girl. Her father got mad. Turns out Target was right - the girl was due in a few months. Target not only guessed the pregnancy correctly, they ended up revealing it to the parents.

Target now mixes the pregnancy coupons with random ones, so the marks will not realize they're targeted specifically. And the parents don't get tipped off - maybe.

New York Times source article (beware paywall, ~3 articles per month without subscribing)

Forbes summary, covers things well. No obvious paywall.

My takeaway is that ignoring this isn't the right response. Even if changes look minimal, letting it go just emboldens companies and governments. Gives them more time to move the lines farther. We keep doing this, trying to be reasonable. And they keep moving the goal posts. We lose more and more, but reasonable people keep suggesting riding it out. Wait and see how it goes.

We already know how it goes - we get screwed a little now, and more in the future. Soon, our paid-for phones will treat everyone as guilty until we prove our innocence. The exact opposite of what our rights say.
     
Face Ache
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Aug 22, 2021, 12:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I don’t have a “smart” appliance. I have to figure out what to buy at the grocery by myself, I have to keep up with whether or not the dishwasher is clean or dirty without emails or texts, and a “smart” range would be on my butt about how often I don’t clean the oven. I don’t need automation to keep track of that stuff.
As an aside, when internet-enabled fridges were introduced I was checking them out in an appliance store. A salesman approached and started giving me the spiel.

"A camera inside the door can see into the fridge, blah blah blah."

"So how can I tell if I'm low on milk in the door if the camera is in the door looking the other way?"

"Umm..."

Stupid gimmick.
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 22, 2021, 03:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This is dangerously close to: Other companies do it, so we should concede this part of our privacy. ie - once at least two parties do something, we retreat. That approach will leave nothing private in the end.
No, in my mind I was saying the exact opposite: only now that Apple is doing something — and I don‘t even want to compare it directly to what other companies are doing — is there a huge outcry on social media with some people removing their data from their iCloud accounts and so forth. Instead, I would like a discussion what we would view as appropriate and apply that to all companies.

I see that with Apple‘s App Store, too: it is suddenly a huge problem that Apple takes up to 30 % and has a lot of control when the console makers have the same cut and in many respects even more control. Rather than create lex Apple, we should arrive at common principles that we should then apply to all companies in a similar position. For example, there can be conflicts of interests where Apple, the app store owner, competes with other companies — just like Amazon is competing with other offerings by using their customer behavior statistics to sell generic versions of these products. (Before anyone says Apple is bigger than console makers, I‘d say yes and no: the game industry is way, way bigger than Hollywood, i. e. we are talking about a huge industry.)
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
My takeaway is that ignoring this isn't the right response. Even if changes look minimal, letting it go just emboldens companies and governments.
IMHO the biggest problem are ad companies like Google and Facebook when it comes to privacy. Private information should be like toxic sludge from a chemical factory: no company should want it, and if you accrue it, it should come with such stringent regulations that protecting privacy (treating the sludge or changing production methods to avoid it) to the status quo (where Facebook is akin to a chemical company in the 1950s that was free to dump the toxic sludge into the river). Even in countries that have stricter privacy laws (Japan and the EU come to my mind) ad companies like G&F are shameless. I‘m a bit bewildered that this starts with what Apple is doing now, though.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
We already know how it goes - we get screwed a little now, and more in the future. Soon, our paid-for phones will treat everyone as guilty until we prove our innocence. The exact opposite of what our rights say.
I don‘t think it is that simple. A lot of people are willing to give governments more rights than I am comfortable with to fight crime. Law enforcement always wants backdoors and access. Certainly, child porn is an issue and society (= all of us) need to figure out how to balance individual rights with protecting others.

While I still think on balance I‘d rather not have Apple‘s new CASM features, I think what Apple did was thoughtful and careful in order to preserve a lot of privacy — especially if coupled to end-to-end encryption for iCloud storage (which may or may not come). This wasn‘t Apple creating a simple ML-based image filter for nudity and nipples, but punting on genocide, hate speech and teenage girls suffering from eating disorders. (No, this list isn‘t hyperbolic.) IMHO Apple‘s problem will be that governments will want more access, and my biggest fear is that Apple will not be able to resist the pressure. Although I don‘t think China will be a problem, they already have access to all the data (by tapping into the servers directly), they don‘t need this new mechanism.
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Waragainstsleep
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Aug 22, 2021, 06:17 PM
 
It is weird that Apple is getting so much flak for this system when it turns out Google and others have been scanning your files on the cloud for some time. Much more dangerous, much less oversight, no media coverage whatsoever. Except Facebook who get shit for not having enough people arrested for the shit they post.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 22, 2021, 08:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
It is weird that Apple is getting so much flak for this system when it turns out Google and others have been scanning your files on the cloud for some time. Much more dangerous, much less oversight, no media coverage whatsoever. Except Facebook who get shit for not having enough people arrested for the shit they post.
Right.
Like you say, while it is good that Apple is held to a higher standard, it is really telling that nobody really seemed to care about other companies doing far more invasive forms of scanning — including scans for their own benefit. E. g. I have heard that Amazon stopped putting order details into some of their emails to make it harder for Google to scrape that information. It literally made Amazon‘s shopping experience worse. (And Amazon has its own problems …)
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Laminar
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Aug 23, 2021, 09:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So it looks like the process is as follows:

Algorithm scans and compares hashes on device;
If it gets ~30 hits against the CSAM database, its flagged up the chain;
A second version of the algorithm (potentially a slightly different one) checks again with the submitted material;
If things still look dodgy, a human is notified. Presumably one at Apple;
Its then sent to a 3rd party NGO who check again;
Its then sent to law enforcement I guess
So the first rumors were that this only happens if you upload your photos to iCloud. Is that still the understanding, or does this just happen on its own without any iCloud interface?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 23, 2021, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
So the first rumors were that this only happens if you upload your photos to iCloud. Is that still the understanding, or does this just happen on its own without any iCloud interface?
It only happens on photos that you upload to iCloud, but the actual scan happens on device.Nothing is scanned in the cloud itself in order that 3rd parties can spot any changes in the system on devices.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ghporter
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Aug 23, 2021, 08:50 PM
 
My “smart tv’s” network connection stays turned off except when I check for firmware updates. It’s pretty old, too, so the updates have been very rare lately.

Having been “”the security guy” more than once, I understand very well how much can be gleaned from putting together “not really sensitive” bits from various sources. This is a key point in instructing people why “talking around” the sensitive stuff is bad.

So I’ve been careful about what is published about me or my family. My Facebook presence is much quieter than most of my FB friends’. I don’t tweet - but I do read some Twitter. Snapchat? No, just no.

But that’s more about avoiding aggressive sales pitches and scams. Recently I’ve been targeted twice by frauds claiming to be family members on FB. I do have a fairly large extended family, and I’m not terribly close to most of my cousins, but I KNOW that none of them is going to encourage me to look into some “government program that gives you money - have you gotten yours yet?”

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter
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Aug 26, 2021, 10:12 AM
 
I should add something about the good/bad of this thing.

Even if it’s not terribly egregious, even if it doesn’t measurably impact the phone/tablet’s performance, even if it is with the very best of intentions and has solid, built-in safeguards to really protect the privacy of anyone who doesn’t manage to strike out with the multiple review system, we should not let Apple behave as if anyone is OK with it.

By remaining vocally concerned about the whole process, we can let Apple - and other vendors - know that we do not trust that this sort of surveillance is going to be, or remain, benign.

And this reminds me that I need to go through the hundreds of pictures on my phone and dump most of them. Like the “hey honey, here’s a picture of a lime green Mercedes SLK 250, what do you think?” shot I took the other day. Yeah, ewwwwww.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
turtle777
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Aug 30, 2021, 02:05 AM
 
Yeah very disappointing of Apple.

The way it's supposed to be implemented will only catch the "idiot pedophiles" that are too stupid to turn off iCloud Photos.
And from there on out, it's the slippery-government-slope of asking for more and more information.

Btw, one thing that doesn't make sense is that current iCloud Photo libraries are NOT end-to-end encrypted.
So Apple is technically able to scan for shit already.
Why even announce and implement the ""feature"" ?

I wonder if this whole thing is more of a "hidden distress signal", making people think about privacy, where at the same time, the gubbmint slapped Apple with a gag order after requesting access to private data.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 30, 2021, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The way it's supposed to be implemented will only catch the "idiot pedophiles" that are too stupid to turn off iCloud Photos.
Most criminals are not high-IQ masterminds, and we should keep that in mind. I have been acquainted with one person that exchanged CSAM material, a former co-worker, and he was so shmart to use his work email. He was caught, because on of his buddies misspelled his email address and it got saved by the company’s email server. The admin of the mail server checked the server one day and then was shocked by what he found. That was a tough day for the company, because they needed to walk a legal tightrope. (Possession of CSAM material is illegal in Germany, obviously, but so is destruction of evidence. If the police had taken in all the servers as evidence, though, that might have spelled doom for the company. But they managed by cooperating fully with the police, and the police was very understanding.)
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reader50  (op)
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Sep 3, 2021, 01:58 PM
 
Apple may (or may not) be giving ground to all the criticism.
Last month we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material [CSAM]. 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.
Unfortunately, that's all Apple said. Others have speculated about possible details, but Apple has only agreed to think about it some more.

I suppose they could quietly drop it internally, while people assume they're still thinking about it. Saving face. But I doubt that, based on the wording.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 3, 2021, 08:42 PM
 
I think we have won this battle, but the war ain’t over. However, I am glad that Apple is reconsidering its stance. We should keep our eyes open.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
 
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