After receiving a lot of pushback towards their new child safety photo scan initiative, Apple has announced they are pulling back to give more time to listen to feedback and craft a solution that will preserve user privacy.
When you're working for a company and using their internet, be mindful that the company is generally allowed to monitor your online activity. This includes your desktops, laptops, and cell phones that use their resources. If you are using a VPN, they'll be unable to monitor the sites but can still see that you're using a virtual private network. There may be a policy in the employee handbook regarding internet usage, but the safest thing is to just not surf sketchy websites or NSFW content on the job.
Tom is concerned about contract tracing through his mobile phone. Leo says that he has no problem with contact tracing, but what Apple and Google use through mobile devices doesn't really work. But they're also not turned on by default, they don't do anything unless a contract tracing app is downloaded and installed. So don't worry. They don't invade privacy.
Lisa hears that her company Wi-Fi is monitored. Leo says that her company has a legal right to monitor her online activity, so it's not private. But if she can use a VPN or is on an encrypted site, they can't see specific data, they can just know she's online. Be sure to be familiar with company policy when using the company's internet network and what potential consequences are. Can they put software on her phone or laptop? Leo says only if they own it. They don't have the legal right to put it on her personal property.
Jerry wants to know how he keeps getting ads on things he was talking about that day. Are they listening to everything he says? But they could be listening for keywords and making those suggestions. Leo says it's not impossible to do, but it would be very hard to do it unnoticed. So Leo doesn't think so. More likely that people around Jerry are searching for similar things and Google is just making a location-based suggestion based on everyone in Jerry's area. We're already giving Google all the information they need without listening in on our conversations.
Joe is concerned that if Apple's new fingerprint photo technology is used today to find child porn, how long before other governments use it to root out gay people in Saudi Arabia, or what if the technology is used to out gay kids to their parents? It's definitely a problem. Leo says that's a perfect example of why this technology is problematic.
Tom is worried about Apple invading his privacy with their new monitoring scheme. Sure, it's for the kids, but is it a slippery slope? Leo says it's important to really understand what Apple will be doing. The software won't be looking at photos, but at the digital "fingerprints" of each photo, and then comparing it to a database of known exploited child images. So, his privacy should still be protected. But he can always opt out of iCloud if it concerns him. But if he uses Facebook or Google Photos, they're doing it too.
Apple's new child safety policy, which will enable the company to search user's iCloud and phone photo libraries for child porn, has met with a lot of push back from their users. Mostly citing privacy concerns. But Leo says that the pushback is largely due to misunderstanding what Apple plans to do.
In a shocking turn of events in China, a citizen sued after visiting a zoo and being forced to have his face and fingerprints scanned. And he won, in China! Leo says that China is doing a better job reigning in Big Tech than we are.
Adam is getting notifications on his Android phone, from Google, asking for his birthdate. Leo says that Google will ask for his birthdate when he signs up for an account, to set age-appropriate settings! But it shouldn't keep asking for it. He doesn't have to give them the accurate birth date. Just make sure it's over 13 years ago.