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Apple Releases Its Communication Safety Feature Internationally

Austin Dean 25 Apr 2022

Apple’s feature meant to protect underage users from receiving and viewing explicit photo content has launched in an additional set of countries. Initially rolled out for the US audience earlier this year, it will now be experienced by Messages app users on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users in the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. According to the report in the Guardian, the exact date by which we should expect the new feature to arrive is not known yet, but it’s referred to as “soon” in the context of the United Kingdom.

The feature is integrated with Apple’s Family Sharing program and comes with an activation instruction. It essentially scans any pictures sent to or from a device for anything that can be described as sexually explicit. This is done within the device and does not compromise the encryption of data. If there are signs that an image contains dubious materials, it gets blurred. You will see a reassuring message stating that it’s not wrong to not view the message and simply quit the conversation if you want to. It will also prompt you to block the person who sent you the sexually explicit content.

Another part of the Communication Safety feature is that a child who has received inappropriate images can choose to flag them to an adult they trust. This was meant to happen automatically when the feature just launched in the USA. However, it was found to pose a threat to queer teenagers by potentially outing them to their parents, so now it’s just one of the options. This is not the only child safety feature Apple has introduced recently; searching for child sexual abuse will now lead Safari, Spotlight, and Siri users to a list of safety resources. How do you feel about the innovation? Share in the comments.