Apple facing criticism over new child safety updates

  • Apple has been criticised for their announcement on Friday over a new system that finds child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on US users’ devices. 
  • The technology will search for matches of known CSAM before the image is stored on iCloud Photos. This match is reported and then manually reviewed. 
  • The system can then take steps to disable a user’s account and report to law enforcement.  
  • Apple says that the new technology offers “significant” privacy benefits over existing techniques, but there are concerns that the technology could be expanded and used by authoritarian governments to spy on their own citizens. 
  • For the full story, see here. 

Thousands of pupils could be ‘easy prey’ for gangs when schools reopen

  • Former children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, says authorities are unprepared for sharp rise in exclusions and exploitation of thousands of children that could happen when schools reopen.
  • Longfield expressed concern that an increase in the number of children home-schooled during the pandemic would also put significantly more children at risk.  
  • In autumn 2020,the number of pupils who were absentfrom school rose by over 30,000.
  • The most recent figures, examining children regarded as being in need, found a 34% year-on-year increase in incidents in which gangs were identified as a factor.  
  • For the full story, see here 

Childline reports spike in students calling about exam stress  

  • Childline revealed the number of young people who rang with concerns about exam stress rocketed from 861 between April and June in 2020 to 1,812 over the same period this year. 
  • Last summer’s grades were decided by an algorithm, which caused problems as students were downgraded, this time marks will be decided by teachers, with exams called off for a second year in a row. 
  • The Labour Party claim that the government failed to act early enough to ensure the results operation ran smoothly. 
  • Results for SQAs and A-Levels are due to be released tomorrow and GCSEs on Thursday.  
  • Full story here 

Beijing prosecutors initiate lawsuit against Tencent over WeChat’s ‘youth mode’ 

  • Beijing prosecutors initiated a civil public-interest lawsuit against a Tencentsubsidiary on Friday, saying the “youth mode” on the company’s popular social messaging app WeChat does not comply with laws protecting minors.
  • WeChat’s “youth mode”, when turned on, limits young users’ access to some games and functions, such as payments or finding nearby friends. he government’s draft Online Safety Bill released in May 2021 would compel social media sites and search engines to remove harmful content such as terrorist content, child sexual exploitation and disinformation.
  • Chinese authorities have called for minors to be better protected from online harms 
  • This follows Tuesday’s newon online gaming being branded as an ‘electronic drug’ and Tencent’s announcement of new measures to reduce young people’s access to its game ‘Honor of Kings’. 
  • For the full story, see here