with ios 15.2, apple will detect and warn kids if they send or receive nude pictures on messages

With the iOS 15.2 Beta rollout, Apple has introduced a new feature that will help parents protect children from illicit images if ever shared with them through Messages. The feature will detect nudity in pictures and will blur them accordingly. The feature will also warn children about the content and share options to reach out to their trusted ones for help.

The feature has been rolled out in the second Beta version of iOS 15.2 and is called Communication Safety. It enables messages on iPhones to check for nudity in photos. This check is performed on-device and follows the end-to-end encryption of messages on the app. Apple thus also confirms that no indication of a nude picture being received on the device is saved anywhere.

This was not always the case, though. Communication Safety first came with a feature that sent a notification to parents of children under 13 years of age if ever a nude image is opened on their phones. However, the ability was quickly dropped, as the notification was a hazard in cases of parental abuse.

Instead, Apple will now let children reach out to a trusted contact on their phone if Messages detects a nude image has been received on their iPhones. Communication Safety will come as a Family Sharing feature, and parents will have to opt-in for it on the children’s device.

Communication Safety is the latest effort by Apple in helping create a safer ecosystem for children on its devices. Back in August, Apple came out with its Child Sexual Abuse Material or CSAM check that would have scanned the photos on iCloud, iMessage and Siri search for any content on child abuse. Any content found would have been marked by Apple for further investigation.

Naturally, the feature raised huge privacy concerns about Apple scanning through users’ images. Apple later had to issue a public clarification about its intended use, promising that Apple will not use the feature to filter any other content or share the user’s content with any other authority. The criticism, however, did not stop.

Apple finally decided to delay the rollout of CSAM to iCloud. In contrast, the new Communication Safety is a more targeted feature towards child safety online and has had positive feedback, following which the tool has even been amended a couple of times. Its rollout thus is much awaited within the parent community on iPhone.

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