© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A customer stands under a glowing Apple logo as they look in the window of an Apple Store in central Sydney, Australia, on May 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray
By Byron Gayle
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Apple Inc (NASDAQ: ) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: ) did not do enough to stop child exploitation content on their sites.
After the e-Safety Commissioner, the office set up to protect internet users, sent legal requests for information to some of the world’s biggest internet companies, Apple and Microsoft responded that their storage services did not pre-screen child abuse. , iCloud and OneDrive.
The two companies confirmed that Microsoft-owned Skype and Microsoft Teams and Apple-owned Facetime video services did not use any technology to detect live broadcasts of child sexual abuse, according to a statement released by the commissioner. Thursday.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is committed to combating the proliferation of abusive material, but “as threats to children’s safety continue to evolve and bad actors become more sophisticated in their tactics, we are constantly challenged to adapt our response”.
Apple was not immediately available for comment.
According to the commissioner, the disclosure confirms gaps in child protection measures at some of the world’s largest technology companies. Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:), is the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Snapchat Snap Inc (NYSE:) also received a request for information.
The overall responses were “alarming” and “raised concerns about the clearly inadequate and inconsistent use of widely available technology to detect child abuse materials and grooming,” Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said in a statement.
Microsoft and Apple “do not attempt to proactively detect previously confirmed child abuse material” in their storage services, although a detection product developed by Microsoft is used by law enforcement agencies.
Apple’s announcement a week ago that it would stop scanning iCloud accounts for child abuse, following pressure from privacy advocates, was “a big step back from their responsibilities to help keep kids safe,” Inman Grant said.
Both companies failed to detect the live-streamed abuse, he added, adding that “some of the world’s biggest and richest tech companies have turned a blind eye and failed to take the right steps to protect the most vulnerable from the most predatory.”
($1 = 1.4588 Australian dollars)