A day earlier, Apple said it would implement a system that screens photos for such images before they are uploaded from iPhones in the United States to its iCloud storage.
Child safety groups praised Apple as it joined Facebook Inc , Microsoft Corp , Alphabet Inc’s Google in taking such measures. But Apple’s photo check on the iPhone itself raised concerns that the company is probing into users’ devices in ways that could be exploited by governments.
Many other technology companies check photos after they are uploaded to servers.
The company said nuances in its system, such as “safety vouchers” passed from the iPhone to Apple’s servers that do not contain useful data, will protect Apple from government pressure to identify material other than child abuse images.
Apple has a human review process that acts as a backstop against government abuse, it added. The company will not pass reports from its photo checking system to law enforcement if the review finds no child abuse imagery.
(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang)