Apple is planning to use a new technology (called CSS or Client-side scanning) which would enable it to detect the presence of any given document on any private Smartphone, regardless of whether that document has been shared or not.

Apple doesn’t need to scan through all the data; it simply identifies the signature of the documents it is looking for.

The company’s purported aim is to weed out material with a pedophile content.

This system - if accepted for the noble purpose of protecting children - could be used for other purposes, including economic espionage and political monitoring.

The idea hadn’t occurred to Orwell, but Apple is about to put it into practice.