Apple has been on the front lines of the porn wars for sometime with the iPhone leading the charge. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said back in April, “we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” With a recently approved patient it looks like Apple is poised to open up a new front in the battle to keep our kids safe. The patent is described as a “Text-based communication control for personal communication device.” The patent states that there is currently “no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate.”
So what does this all add up to? Anti-Sexting software. So how does it work? Here’s what the patent says: The parental control application evaluates whether or not the communication contains approved text based on, for example, objective ratings criteria or a user’s age or grade level, and, if unauthorized, prevents such text from being included in the text-based communication. If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication.
That may sound complicated (I am sure a lawyer wrote it) but what it means is that parents will be able to control the content being sent and received via text on their kids iPhones (and probably other Apple devices). That is a very cool feature that can protect our kids from predators, bullies and others who may send our kids inappropriate text messages. On the flip side our kids won’t be able to text any garbage out from their iPhone.
So to Apple I say, “Bravo!”. It would be nice if more cell phone makers would put more tools in place to help keep our kids safe. Our kids have so much technology available to them at such a young age that we need all the help we can get. Thanks Apple.