Apple Planning Features to Protect Human Rights Workers and Journalists from Spyware
July 6, 2022
Cited article by Sean Lyngaas, CNN Business
HRRC encourages other tech companies to follow Apple's example. Spyware targeting human rights workers and journalists is becoming increasingly widespread around the world. As the monitoring of these professionals increases, so do the arrests of and violence against them. Greater efforts must be made to ensure these people can communicate confidentially and are able to continue their valuable work unhindered.
Apple announced that it will be releasing a new feature on iPhone, Mac, and iPad operating software that is designed to protect those at high-risk from spyware, especially spyware that is targeting those investigating global human rights abuses. This is one of the most significant steps a major tech company has taken to address spyware issues that are becoming increasingly prominent. One example of such spyware used to target and monitor human rights workers was the Israel based NSO Group (read our summary here), which was sued by Apple.
The new feature will be called a lockdown mode, which will enable those using it to partition off sections of their phone that they don't want to be accessed. While this will help prevent sensitive data from being accessed by spyware, while in lockdown the phone will have limited access to features.