Apple awarded ‘sexting’ patent
Apple has been granted a patent that prevents youngesters from using ‘age inappropriate’ language in iPhone text messages.
The patent, which was filed by Apple in 2008, concerns “systems, devices and methods” for filtering “text-based messages” that contain “objectionable content”.
It aims to ensure youngsters aren’t able to use their iPhones to send text messages that contain swear words or suggestive language, sometimes known as “sexting”.
In the patent application, which has been granted by the US Patents Office, there is currently “no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate”.
“For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language,” reads the patent application.
“The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria. The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application.”
“Sexting” is a growing concern for many parents, some of whom would welcome the option to filter out certain words from their children’s vocabulary.
But sceptics have questioned whether text censorship will really work. “Those interested in ‘sexting’ will probably find some clever workaround,” reports technology website TechCrunch, suggesting they will find “myriad other words” that “don’t immediately set off the censorship senors”.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, has famously claimed that Apple’s tight app approval process ensures “freedom from porn” for users of the company’s products.