Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Urge Congress to Hold Apple Accountable

Survivors and the Heat Initiative requested Tim Cook to testify before Congress on Apple's storage and proliferation of child sexual abuse material on iCloud.

Reflecting on their experiences, Juliett (they/them) shared, “When I was a teenager, nude photos of me were shared on the internet. Apple chooses not to detect or report child sexual abuse images, allowing predators to share my personal photos with repercussions. It’s time for Apple to take action to prevent my images – and those of other survivors – from spreading further.”

The survivors were accompanied by the Heat Initiative, a group of child safety experts and advocates calling on tech companies to detect and eradicate CSAM on their platforms. This year, Heat Initiative launched a campaign calling on Apple to take action against the proliferation of CSAM on iCloud. Currently, Apple does not detect or report such materials.

“When images and videos of child sexual abuse continue to circulate on iCloud, victims are repetitively retraumatized. Apple and Tim Cook must take action to change that” said Cooper (she/her).

“This is only the beginning of a campaign that will finally hold Apple accountable and put an end to their negligent practices,” said Zeitz (he/him).

As part of the delegation’s visit to DC, prominent artist and activist Robin Bell projected the message, “Tim: Stop Child Sexual Abuse on iCloud” onto the Carnegie Library Apple Store on Tuesday, Dec 5. The delegation also held a protest at the Georgetown Apple Store.

“I am proud to work with these courageous survivors and their mission to end the dissemination of harmful child sexual abuse content on iCloud,” expressed Bell.

This event marks the latest work in the Heat Initiative’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness and demand action from Apple.

“While Apple continues to prioritize profit over the safety of children, the Heat Initiative stands on its campaign’s mission to call for Apple to stop the proliferation of child sexual abuse on iCloud,” said Sarah Gardner, CEO of the Heat Initiative.

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