What’s Up With Apple: More on Privacy, Apple Car, and More

The argument between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and privacy advocates shows no sign of concluding any time soon. On Monday, Apple re-entered the fray with an FAQ on its planned Expanded Protections for Children.

Apple describes the difference between communication safety in Messages and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) detection in photos people upload to iCloud. The Messages feature works only for accounts set up as families and does not break Apple’s end-to-end encryption of messages. As for photo scans, scanning applies only to photos that people choose to store in iCloud, not to photos stored on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Apple said that it will refuse demands from governments to force the company to add non-CSAM images to the program:

Apple’s CSAM detection capability is built solely to detect known CSAM images stored in iCloud Photos that have been identified by experts at NCMEC and other child safety groups. We have faced demands to build and deploy government-mandated changes that degrade the privacy of users before, and have steadfastly refused those demands. We will continue to refuse them in the future.

A report in the Korea Times Monday claimed that Apple has been in touch with “multiple” Korean manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) components about supplying parts for a forthcoming Apple Car. Such a vehicle has been the subject of speculation for years now, and the report cites “a senior industry executive directly involved with the issue.”

Referring to Apple’s outsourcing of iPhone manufacturing, the report’s source said that “Korean manufacturers of EV batteries and other components will be able to benefit from Apple’s business strategy.” The source also commented:

Without partnerships with Korean vendors, Apple won’t be able to complete its EV business plan. As far as I know, Apple has talked with LG, SK and Hanwha, but the talks are still in the early stages.

Apple also has been rumored to have had “advanced meetings” with SK Group’s battery division and LG’s joint venture with Canadian auto parts maker Magna International.

Finally, AppleInsider reports that Apple on Monday removed a program from the App Store because it violated the company’s rule against “installing or running executable code that changes an app’s features or functionality.” The app in question is iDOS 2, a program that emulates Microsoft’s ancient DOS PC operating system allowing people to play classic games and even run Windows 3.1. It’s complicated.

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