An iPhone held up by a protester in Hong Kong.
Lewis Tse Pui Lung/

Are you concerned about Apple’s plans to scan iPhones for certain images? According to a note the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent to the Apple employees working on the scanning feature, those concerns are “the screeching voices of the minority.”

9to5Mac has a pair of leaked memos sent to Apple employees internally. A memo from Sebastien Marineau-Mes, a Vice President of software at Apple, says there have been “misunderstandings”:

We know some people have misunderstandings, and more than a few are worried about the implications, but we will continue to explain and detail the features so people understand what we’ve built.

Marita Rodriguez, executive director of strategic partnerships at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which Apple is working closely with on the scanning feature, sent a memo to the Apple employees working on this feature encouraging them to disregard concerns about the implications of this feature:

I know it’s been a long day and that many of you probably haven’t slept in 24 hours. We know that the days to come will be filled with the screeching voices of the minority.

Our voices will be louder.

This is obviously a difficult issue. It’s difficult to even write a piece like this, pointing out that a feature ostensibly created for good could have bad implications. Again: What happens when a country like China uses this feature to find people with images critical of the government? Why wouldn’t the industry want to start searching for pirated content on iPhones in a few years?

But, even as Apple says we people who are concerned have “misunderstandings” about what’s going on, disregarding us as a “screeching minority” isn’t going to calm us down.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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