October 13, 2010

Apple Awarded Patent To Prevent ‘Sexting’

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a patent to help prevent youth from using "age inappropriate" language in iPhone text messages.

The patent includes "systems, devices and methods" for filtering "text-based messages" that contain "objectionable content."  Apple filed the patent in 2008.

It will help ensure young people are not using their iPhones to send text messages containing swear words or suggestive language, which is also known as "sexting."

The patent application claims that 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 parents, and the new patent could help filter out age inappropriate words.

However, skeptics warn that text censorship may not work. 

"Those interested in "Ëœsexting' 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 sensors".

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs has claimed that Apple's tight app approval process ensures "freedom from porn" for users of the company's products.


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