iPhone users in six additional countries have access to a tool intended to protect children from sexual predators. The countries now getting access to Communication Safety in Messages are in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
The optional feature warns kids if they receive or attempt to send photos containing nudity.
Apple expands Communication Safety in Messages to protect kids in more countries
Sexual predators targeting children on the Internet is on the rise. Apple is working to help parents set up their child’s iPhone so they don’t see age-inappropriate images.
Apple’s tool to alert children about incoming nude images launched in the United States. in 2021. The following year, it was introduced in other countries, including the United Kingdom. And now it’s arriving in Belgium, Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden, according to iCulture.nl.
Protecting children from sexual predators
With this feature, a child that receives a nude photo in the Messages application will see only a blur. If the child tries to view it, they will receive an alert that asks, “Are you sure?” along with additional warnings.
The scan for sexually explicit photos happens on the iPhone. “Messages analyses image attachments and determines if a photo contains nudity, while maintaining the end-to-end encryption of the messages,” Apple said when Communication Safety in Messages was first rolling out. “The feature is designed so that no indication of the detection of nudity ever leaves the device. Apple does not get access to the messages.”
When Apple originally announced the feature in 2021, it said the iPhone would warn parents if a child accepted or sent a message that had been flagged as sexually explicit. That’s changed, as Apple now says, “No notifications are sent to the parent or anyone else.”
The privacy feature is optional, and is turned off by default. It can only be activated on iCloud accounts that have been set up to include children. Because incoming texts cans be viewed on a variety of devices, Communication Safety in Messages is part of iPhone, Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch.