NYTimes: The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell

NYTimes: The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell by Greg Bensinger:

Even iPhone users with nothing to hide could be forgiven for being a little creeped out that Apple will scan their photos and see if they match existing databases of known illegal pornographic images. Privacy experts called the idea a potential backdoor for governments to request or demand scans for other images or files. Some of Apple’s own employees are reportedly pushing back on the idea.

It’s a good indication that things are headed in the wrong direction when your company’s anti-child pornography initiative gets panned.

A major reason for the failure of Apple’s defense is that the photo-scanning program confirms a fear many users already harbor: Personal data, even the most sensitive, is effectively out of users’ control, accessible at the flip of a switch.

Apple says, relentlessly, that privacy is the central feature of its iPhones. But as the photo scanning demonstrates, that’s true only until Apple changes its mind about its policies.

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