Apple Expanding iPhone's Communication Safety Feature to More Countries
In recognition of Safer Internet Day today, Apple has highlighted the company's software features and tools designed to protect children online, such as Screen Time and Communication Safety. The press release was shared in Europe only.
Communication Safety is an opt-in feature in the Messages app on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch that is designed to warn children when receiving or sending photos that contain nudity. In its press release today, Apple indicated that it is expanding the feature to more regions around the world in partnership with local experts. In recent months, Communication Safety became available in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, after launching earlier in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.
When the feature is enabled, photos containing nudity are blurred and the child will be warned, presented with helpful resources, and given the option to message someone they trust for help if they choose, according to Apple.
On its Child Safety page, Apple assures that Communication Safety is private and secure:
Messages analyzes image attachments and determines if a photo contains nudity, while maintaining the end-to-end encryption of the messages. 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, and no notifications are sent to the parent or anyone else.
In December, Apple announced that it abandoned its controversial plans to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) stored in iCloud Photos. Communication Safety is unrelated to those former plans and is on-device only, according to Apple.