Apple has been scanning iCloud Mail email attachments for child abuse since 2019

Apple has been scanning email attachments sent and received via iCloud Mail for child abuse material since 2019, the tech company told 9to5Mac. Last year, Eric Friedman, head of Apple's Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk unit, told a colleague in an iMessage conversation that Apple is the largest platform for distributing child pornography.

The conversation was found in the documents of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games. The question, however, was how Friedman could know this if Apple doesn't scan iCloud accounts. In a statement, Apple explains that it has never scanned images into iCloud Photos. The tech company does acknowledge that it has been checking all incoming and outgoing email attachments from iCloud Mail since 2019.

Apple also told 9to5Mac that it was scanning other data, but didn't say exactly what this is, other than that it's on a small scale. Apple recently announced it plans to scan images that US users upload to iCloud Photos for child abuse, which has sparked strong criticism from civil rights groups and experts of all kinds.

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