RSS
Apple's war on 'sexting'
Steve Jobs & Co. won approval for a patent that would give parents the power to block their kids' racy text messages. LOL?
 
"I don't think your parents would approve!"
"I don't think your parents would approve!"
Corbis

The U.S. government this week granted Apple a patent on a technology that would give parents and other iPhone "administrators" a way to block "objectionable" text messages. The patent application doesn't actually include "the pretty ridiculous noun/verb 'sexting,'" says Alexia Tsotsis in TechCrunch, "but come on, we all know what they mean." Should Apple be creating software that censors text messages? (Watch a Fox Business discussion about the technology)

Three cheers for Apple: "My inner 15-year-old is really, really pissed" about Apple's move to quash sexting, says April Peveteaux in The Stir. But "the parent in me cheers." This promises to not only "do my parental monitoring for me" but also "correct grammar and discourage LOL-speak" in favor of real language. Apple has just given me "one more reason to crave an iPhone," for myself and my kids.
"No more iPhone sexting: Apple's cranky old lady app"

Kids will beat this in a heartbeat: There are already a half-dozen products out there that filter text messages, says Robert X. Cringely in PC World, and the only reason we're paying attention to this one is because Apple is involved. But it won't stop kids from sending off naked pictures of themselves — and since "teenagers are way smarter than us when it comes to manipulating small digital devices," they will quickly learn to circumvent this filter, either with "a gaggle of new sexting acronyms" or just by hacking their iPhone.
"Apple's 'anti-sexting' patent is a joke"

This is much more ominous than most people realize: "The entire tech world is stupidly missing the point," says John Dvorak in PC Magazine. Apple's patent isn't about keeping the kiddies safe, it is a "sleazy censorship mechanism" aimed at expanding the iPhone market into repressive countries like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. "The sexting ruse is just that — a ruse."
"Apple's anti-sexting patent is misleading"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week