THE Covent Garden Apple Store, where journalists probably outnumbered customers at the iPhone 7 launch.
THE Covent Garden Apple Store, where journalists probably outnumbered customers at the iPhone 7 launch.

Apple to face protest during a launch event

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Sep 13, 2021

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APPLE is scheduled to host its annual September event where the smartphone giant is expected to unveil its iPhone 13 line-up — as well as new smartwatches, headphones and possibly more. At the same time, Apple will be facing the first protest in the history of the tech giant during a launch event.

Activists from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Fight for the Future, and other digital civil liberties organisations have planned protests around the US for today at 6pm to demand that Apple drop its planned surveillance software programme. Protests are already planned in Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York City, and Portland.

Last month Apple announced a plan to scan US customer phones and computers for child sex abuse images which then sparked a global backlash from a wide range of rights groups, with employees also criticising the plan internally.

Subsequently, Apple backtracked, indicating that it would take more time to collect feedback and improve its proposed child safety features after the criticism of the system on privacy and other grounds inside and outside the company.

In addition to the protest, EFF will also be using means of communicating their message to Apple's headquarters—by flying an aerial banner over the Apple campus during their iPhone launch event tomorrow.

On September 7, the activists organisation delivered nearly 60 000 petitions to Apple. Over 90 organisations across the globe have also urged the company not to implement the software changes which lead to phones being scanned.

The organisation has also indicated that although Apple has partially backtracked there’s still a need to exert pressure until Apple commits, fully, to protecting privacy and security.

Wesley Diphoko

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