macOS ventura 13.1 scans your local images using network API requests to apple when browsing local image files in the finder now.

be advised.

How do you know it’s doing that?
@sneak @bot @sneak
>Imagine my surprise when browsing these images in the Finder, Little Snitch told me that macOS is now connecting to Apple APIs via a program named mediaanalysisd (Media Analysis Daemon - a background process for analyzing media files).
That’s not proof of anything.

@bot i was browsing images in the finder and it made network API requests, that's how. there's a screenshot of the image and the API access in the article.

Ok but that’s not proof that they’re scanning images.

@bot the purpose of mediaanalysisd is to scan images. that's all it does.

I looked it up and that’s existed for at least 5 years. You’re making it seem like Apple is sending your pics to themselves and you have no evidence of that.

@bot i didn't make that claim. please read the post.

The title of your article is "Apple has begun scanning your local image files without consent" which seems disingenuous and untrue. Have you even reached out to them and asked?

@bot it is 100% true. i don't need to reach out to them - it is literally happening on my computer right now. it's built in to macOS now.

What evidence do you have that "Apple has begun scanning your local image files without consent"? I've yet to see any.

LOL! Hear we go again!

Bot & some other Microsoft sycophant have been gushing and I mean gushing over big tech the last few days!

I don't like microsoft and I just want to see actual evidence of what he's claiming. Why do you take issue with that?

The other guy was Macrohard on Microsoft. I never said you.


@HSTG @bot @sneak

>The other guy was Macrohard on Microsoft.
Was I?

@sneak That doesn't really tell you anything. For example, this could be an attempt to make a one-time download of an ML model used for locally-running analysis, similar to how enabling certain voice processing features on iOS triggers a download of language models that will then be used on-device.

@yProd that's correct. ML models used to classify images. like the images being scanned by mediaanalysisd.

i don't think Apple's planned LEO-assist features were ever going to run anywhere but on-device.

@sneak Well, the CSAM scanning would report to Apple (which would forward to LEOs). From a privacy perspective, local analysis for local use is something completely different, and about as right or wrong as Spotlight “scanning” all your documents (to build a search index).

@yProd spotlight can be turned off and directories excluded. what ML features are in use when using spacebar quicklook in the finder? literally all i asked it to do is display the image. at best it is a bug.

@sneak Live Text would come to mind, as one example. Maybe the image contains text you may want to copy?

@yProd where do i opt out of having apple scan my files for text?

@sneak Again, this being live text is a guess. If it is the cause, apparently, you can uncheck “Select text in images” in macOS's Language & Region settings to disable it.

Keep in mind this is not Apple somehow scanning your files, it is your own, local computer doing it (and with all results staying local). If you believe this is effectively the same, that's OK of course, but I'll have to respectfully disagree.

@yProd this is 100% apple scanning my files. apple controls my own, local computer via macOS. there's no data available now to support "all results staying local" as we have already established that the process scanning the files is making network API requests.

@sneak Talking about Live Text here, which is documented to be running locally.
If you're 100% this is Apple scanning your files, prove it – which means checking which data is being transmitted, not just establishing that an Apple daemon is trying to connect to Apple somehow, which is very unsurprising.

(And in the end, if you believe Apple is potentially evil and its statements cannot be trusted, you must stop using macOS. Your firewall does not help, it only sees requests through macOS's API, which could absolutely hide internal requests if it wanted! Using an OS always requires a certain level of trust with its developers.)

@yProd scanning does not mean transmitting. transmission could be conditional on specific features! it could be all-local until it detects something it doesn't like, then and only then does it make a network request. we know it is scanning local files that are not involved in icloud/, and we know it's making network requests. it's a single line of code to connect those two. you cannot assert that that code is not on my machine.

@yProd all people vulnerable to FBI coercion are potentially evil as they can be forced to do things against their will.

@sneak @sneak
>(PBUH please don’t decapitate me)
This is a joke, right?

@sneak Absolutely devastating for users’ privacy. I don’t live in Europe, but this seems to be a GDPR violation as well.

@sneak Is this news? We've known apple does this shit since Snowden leaks.

@book false, you took the wrong conclusion from the article

What wrong conclusion do you think I drew, and what right conclusion ought I to draw?
I think that was only iCloud related, this is about photos stored on your computer.
@bot @sneak I assume as a given everything on your phone's hard drive is mirrored on the cloud.

@sneak This is saddening as hell..

Do you consider making your blocklists for LS public? Would be great for those of us less tech knowledgeable.

@sneak Thank you for bringing this to our attention and for shining light on Apple's insincere and disgusting strategies.

@sneak I'm appalled and I don't use my mac for anything but work. That kills any desire to ever own a mac for personal computing.

@sneak I shared your blog post and then immediately received criticism, and then someone sent me this link to the topic, obviously a response to your discovery.


they wrote:

"This claim boils down to Apple automatically being sent identifiers of images that a user has simply ‘browsed in the Finder’ without that user’s consent or awareness."

I never claimed that. Tell them to read my article again.

@unixviking from their article:

"Images viewed in apps supporting VLU have neural hashes computed, and those are uploaded to Apple’s servers to perform look up and return its results to the user, as previously detailed."

So information about the contents of the image is sent to Apple via API. Cool.


"VLU can be disabled by disabling Siri Suggestions in System Settings > Siri & Spotlight, as previously explained."

The API request I observed via Finder QuickLook happened with Siri Suggestions *disabled*. So this response article has some issues.

@sneak Thank you for your explanations! I was already unsure because Louis Rossmann has also brought your report in an extra video and also confirmed from the technical point of view. I myself am unfortunately not so well versed in technology to be able to evaluate this from this point of view. That's why I sent you this article.

@unixviking as far as i know, rossman did not confirm anything from a technical point of view, he just signal boosted.

tbh nobody's going to know exactly what this process is doing until mediaanalysisd is reverse engineered. all we know now:

1. apple said they would scan local files for csam

2. mediaanalysisd is scanning local files for something or other

3. mediaanalysisd is talking to apple

@sneak I probably understood Louis a bit badly, unfortunately my English is not that overwhelming. But just the fact that he brought the topic was for me a confirmation of your experience. And I see it the same way: Apple has announced something that is an absolute no-go, and then a program scans its own files and communicates on it with Apple servers.... so for me something like that is already clear, otherwise I don't see any sense behind such a procedure.

@unixviking at best it's a bug. at worst it's surveillance.

@sneak I'm a negativist. I always assume the worst possibility.... but no matter which of the two options is ultimately true: whether we will ever know the truth? I don't think so. But no matter what: thank you for pointing that out!

@unixviking it's best to not assume worst or best, but simply be aware of the possibility space pending additional data and act accordingly.

@sneak You're absolutely right! That's why I moved all my data from various cloud services like iCloud, GDrive and OneDrive to a local NAS a long time ago. Because if they don't do it now (like Google and Microsoft in any case), at some point they WILL scan and analyze all data, whether on my computer or in their cloud.

@unixviking @sneak the article suggests it is Live Text not VLU, so disabling Siri Suggestions doesn't matter:

> Local images that are viewed in QuickLook Preview undergo normal analysis for Live Text, and text recognition where possible, but that doesn’t generate identifiers that could be uploaded to Apple’s servers.

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