Epic Games accused Apple of spying on users

Relations between the two companies tightened last fall. Then Epic Games went to war against Apple and Google after the two giants removed the game Fortnite from the App Store and Play Store.

The conflict between them continues, the litigation is accompanied by a number of mutual accusations.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has launched a new attack on Apple. This time the criticism was against a new initiative by ChildSafety, which he called “government spyware”. The specific target of negative comments is Apple’s suite of tools designed to keep children safe online.

The project introduces new features to iMessage, Siri, and Search, as well as an iCloud Photos scanning engine to detect inappropriate photos. By doing so, the company hopes to help reduce the dissemination of child sexual abuse (CSAM) material.

The Epic Games boss seems to believe these features will be used for espionage and monitoring.

The big problem, according to the Epic Games boss, in this case is that Apple can now scan users’ personal data, using the new initiative as an excuse. Tim Sweeney believes this government spyware installed by Apple violates the presumption of guilt. Although the company wrote the software itself, its function is to scan user data and provide reports to the government.

Epic Games boss claims this is completely different from a content moderation system in a public forum or in a social environment. In practice, Apple can scan confidential information whenever it is convenient and appropriate. Sweeney doesn’t take into account the fact that the scanning system mathematically compares only the hashes of files stored in iCloud with a single CSAM database.

Tim Sweeney also accuses Apple of using “dark templates” (whatever that means) to enable data uploads to iCloud by default, which forces users to accumulate unwanted data in their accounts.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
Function: Web Developer and Editor
Alexandr Ivanov

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