Apple has just been awarded a patent for what people are already calling 'anti-sexting' software.
Kids these days and their cell phones -- you just never know what they're talking about with their friends. Fear not, Apple can help you! TechCrunch reports that the Cupertino, California-based company has just been awarded a patent for a "text-based communication control for personal communication device." The patent description claims that there is "no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate," and goes on to give children sending and receiving messages with objectionable language as an example.
"Users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language," it reads.
The software would allow parents to implement parental controls that evaluate whether or not the message in question contains only approved words. If an unauthorized word is detected, it can be omitted from the message, and the application could alert the user or a designated third party to the presence of the unauthorized text. The application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text with words that are allowed, or it may automatically delete the offending words. A third option is that the application would just delete the entire message.
However, despite it being easy to assume that anti-porn Apple's main goal for this software is to help parents prevent kids from swearing or telling each other all about their naughty, hormone-induced urges, it seems the company is also aiming to improve language education.
The abstract for the filing says that although some incoming or outcoming messages could be blocked if they contain "forbidden content," parental controls also make it possible for the phone to require certain text be present in messages. The company goes on to give the example that you could require a certain number of Spanish words per day to be included in emails if your child is learning Spanish.