Apple’s new CSAM features in iOS 15 have managed to spark quite a bit of controversy. Many iPhone users are uncomfortable with Apple hash matching the photos they upload to iCloud Photo Library against a database of CSAM photos. A new report now details that Apple employees are also unhappy with this move and have expressed their concerns about it.
An internal Slack channel at Apple has been flooded with over 800 messages from employees concerned about how governments and law enforcement agencies could use this feature for their benefit. Many employees also fear Apple is damaging its reputation in protecting the privacy of its users with this move.
Past security changes at Apple have also prompted concern among employees, but the volume and duration of the new debate is surprising, the workers said. Some posters worried that Apple is damaging its leading reputation for protecting privacy.
Though coming mainly from employees outside of lead security and privacy roles, the pushback marks a shift for a company where a strict code of secrecy around new products colors other aspects of the corporate culture.
Some Apple employees who work in the core security area found Apple’s method to be reasonable, as it helps in putting a stop to sharing of illegal content.
Slack has become a popular communication tool at Apple during the pandemic era as employees work from home. Apple employees are using it for informal discussions, chit-chats, and major discussions on important matters. Apple employees previously expressed their displeasure in internal Slack channels at the company for asking them to return to the office at least three days a week from later this year and not being flexible towards remote work.