Traditionally prudish Apple wants to make sure that all your text communications are “user appropriate”, and has had a patent approved for a device which essentially places parental controls on a users’ text communications.
The software will prevent certain words and phrases from be used in text-based communication – which would, presumably, include SMS messages, emails, social networking and IM conversations.
As the patent says, “If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, administartor or other designated individuals of the presence of such text” – what ultimate humiliation it would be if your parents automatically received the racy message you just penned. The software would then either require you to replace the word or automatically delete the text.
But this isn’t the end of sexting altogether as the controls will be based on age or other objective criteria; if you’re an adult then you should be free to sext away. As, some would say, is your right.
But there’s one thing Apple is forgetting, and that’s the infinite opportunity for innuendo. Putting this patent into action won’t wipe out teenage sexting, it’ll just send it underground. Or, y’know, online. [TechCrunch]