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Discussion on: What is Apple thinking?

renanlazarotto profile image
Renan Lazarotto

Hey, thanks for the answer! So this means they won't get the images, just the hashes, right? Any place I can read more about how it'll work? I'm really interested on understanding more.

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leob profile image
leob

Yup it's here in their FAQ, it's very clearly explained here how it works:

apple.com/child-safety/pdf/Expande...

What they do is download a little database (list) of those hashes to your iPhone (this list gets updated regularly), then when uploading a file to iCloud they simply compute the hash/checksum and compare it to the list.

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

There's even more: it won't get flagged immediately but only once you cross a certain threshold of flagged images. They also won't immediately share the image with the reviewers but a low resolution version of it.

To be honest it is about as unobstrusive and privacy aware as you can implement such a feature and the media coverage is not quite doing that justice.

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leob profile image
leob

Ah really? yes well that is in fact quite lenient ... I agree with you on all counts, also about the media coverage. Never good to jump to conclusions too fast, and vilify a company or an individual before knowing all the facts.

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renanlazarotto profile image
Renan Lazarotto

Thanks a lot for this. I'm gonna read it entirely, because just the first page got me even more interested - the idea of matching known hashes on-device is incredible and now that I learnt a bit more about it I'm not as concerned about privacy as I was yesterday.

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leob profile image
leob

Yes I agree that this seems a clean approach - if they'd do shady things like unleashing AI algorithms on images to start guessing "what it is" and then framing people based on that, well that would definitely be a big no-no. This thing with the hashes though seems about the cleanest approach you could come up with.

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl