At the beginning of September 2021, Apple said it would pause the rollout of the feature to “collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.” In other words, a launch was still coming. Now the company says that in response to the feedback and guidance it received, the CSAM-detection tool for iCloud photos is dead.
Good on Apple for responding to feedback from the community on this one. Their heart was in the right place, and I personally wasn't particularly bothered by this proposal, but many people had serious concerns. Apple said they were delaying the rollout, and I think we all expected them to quietly include this in an update after the dust had settled, but they didn't.
Not only that, but they also announced that starting in iOS 16.2 (likely out next week), users will be able to encrypt the data they store in iCloud so that Apple themselves can't even access the data. Seriously, all your photos, messages, bookmarks, reminders, notes, health data, and much more can all be completely inaccessible to Apple if you'd like.
All around massive wins for Apple users this week. I've still got beef with Apple on things like App Store policies and advertising, but stuff like this is what keeps me happily using their products.