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Apple patent not only c-blocks you, but rats you out as well  (Source: Motivated Photos)
Patent outlines a system to block objectionable words and alert other users that the words were used

Apple has one of the most popular smartphones on the market today and as such there are users all around the world that use the device for keeping in contact with loved ones. Many of those people who live a long way from each other undoubtedly use the phone for some racy subject material such as sexting.

Apple has been granted a patent (first applied for in 2008) that is titled "Text-based communication control for personal communication device" according to
Tech Crunch. That sounds rather plebeian until you dig into the subject matter of the patent and realize exactly what the patent does and the opportunity for censorship that will anger some.

The verbiage seems docile and welcome on some levels stating in the background info, "[Currently there is] no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”

The patent outlines an application that would allow the parent to determine words that a child using the phone can't send or receive texts that contain those words. The patent also outlines a way that the application could alert other people like parents or administrators in a business setting when patents with these objectionable words are sent using the phone.

The patent reads, "If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication."

It's unclear if the patent will cover a system that automatically censors objectionable words and inserts other words all the time by default or if it is an opt-in service. If the patent is a system that will only allow those who own the devices to set word filters, there will be few parents or network administrators that won’t like the newfound control over how an iPhone can be used. 

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By nvalhalla on 10/13/2010 9:52:28 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not a big fan of Apple but this is a good idea. It's just a way of giving parents control of their kid's iPhone. People are acting like this is being forced on everyone. RTFA people.

RE: wow
By nvalhalla on 10/13/2010 9:59:28 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe I should clarify. Read the F-ing SOURCE article people. Shane, that means you too. This is obviously an opt in service, tone down the rhetoric.

RE: wow
By clovell on 10/13/2010 10:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that business IT departments will likely have the ability start this bs on a much grander scale than sexting (think, bitching about your boss or project to a coworker), makes the rhetoric seem justified.

RE: wow
By Phynaz on 10/13/2010 10:51:55 AM , Rating: 5
Why? If the device is provided to you by your employer, the have every right to regulate how you use it.

RE: wow
By Chocobollz on 10/14/2010 3:55:28 AM , Rating: 3
Ah~ a very good reasoning. So, you got your money from your employer, right? And you use that money to buy food to keep you alive. In other words, you owe them your life, and with it, your soul. You'll gladly do everything they ask you to do, even if that means you have to give up your personal life. Life is beautiful isn't it? When you gave your soul to your employer? Good for you but I won't take the same fate with you.

RE: wow
By theslug on 10/26/2010 9:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't make sense. Money is an entirely different matter than IT equipment. When you get money from your employer it is yours and you can do with it as you please. When you get a computer or other devices from them they control them. You have no expectation of privacy or the ability to do whatever you want with those things.

RE: wow
By Mitch101 on 10/13/2010 11:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
Especially given that Steve Jobs during an interview asked a job candidate "Are you a Virgin?"

RE: wow
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 11:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
V --.. you know what I'm talkin bout.

RE: wow
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 12:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
_/\V/\_ will make you :o

RE: wow
By HrilL on 10/13/2010 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
We take a hands off policy at my company. No internet filters no reading of employee emails. No over controlling rules. This may change in the future but for the most part people know they need to act responsibly at work. If you want to use foul language between your coworker/friend who really cares. While you should keep in mind that anything you say is probably in someones Skype logs.. Its called common sense but I guess now days people seem to lack it.

RE: wow
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2010 10:31:12 AM , Rating: 5
Here's a cheap and easy way to implement this.

Don't give your kid an iPhone.

RE: wow
By WayneCoffee on 10/13/2010 10:54:36 AM , Rating: 3

RE: wow
By aegisofrime on 10/13/2010 10:57:53 AM , Rating: 5
You can sext on any phone, not just an iPhone...

RE: wow
By BarkHumbug on 10/13/2010 11:49:32 AM , Rating: 3
...but now Apple has the patent, so no other phone can block it anymore.

RE: wow
By shabby on 10/13/2010 10:32:47 PM , Rating: 4
Sometimes... just sometimes, apple does everyone a favor.

RE: wow
By bplewis24 on 10/13/2010 11:10:13 AM , Rating: 3
The day I have to start taking more control over my kid's smartphone, is the day I wake the funk up as a parent and realize that my 14 year old kid doesn't need a smartphone.


RE: wow
By omnicronx on 10/13/2010 12:17:55 PM , Rating: 4
Just like the mandated vchips in all of our TV's was a good idea too right?

When I was a kid I could run circles around my parents when it comes to technology. Blocks like these never stopped kids before, and I surely doubt it will stop kids in the future.

Kids are not stupid, if you put up a block, they will either figure a way around it, or figure out a new way.

Here is a thought.. stay involved in your child's life. The thought that a parent can merely use something like this as a replacement is laughable. In my opinion Vchips failed because only those willing to monitor their children in the first place would use them. So what exactly is the point? Parents that are not watching their kids now are not likely to start taking action, even if a tool like this is released.

RE: wow
By w1z4rd on 10/26/2010 9:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
FINALLY someone said it!!

thanks omni - you're complety spot on!

Reason 999,999
By Denigrate on 10/13/2010 9:38:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yet another reason to avoid Apple products.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 10:34:12 AM , Rating: 1
I'm guessing that Apple made the V-chip that was in Cartmans head.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Tony Swash on 10/13/2010 10:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yet another reason to avoid Apple products.

Unless you are a parent.

I guess that's the demographic this aimed at.

RE: Reason 999,999
By bfellow on 10/13/2010 10:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
A parent should not be giving a kid an iPhone.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Phynaz on 10/13/2010 10:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
Please expand on this.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Motley on 10/13/2010 11:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
Why exactly is that?

RE: Reason 999,999
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 10:50:45 AM , Rating: 3

I guess that's the demographic this aimed at.

I'm a parent, and I remember being a kid. I'll tell you what, this will not stop them, they'll use some kind of new slang or abbreviation, to get around it. So SMD

RE: Reason 999,999
By Tony Swash on 10/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: Reason 999,999
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 11:25:14 AM , Rating: 2

If you are a parent then having a parental control feature like this may help sway you to buy a phone like this for your kids. Some kids will work around around the restrictions and almost all adult buyers will probably be utterly unaffected by this feature - but it will probably be attractive to a big demographic (people buying phones for their kids) and is thus a potentially useful marketing feature.

Valid point, but wouldn't that just lower desirability to children....and make Android more attractive to them, as they ask parents for a phone other than iPhone.

RE: Reason 999,999
By redbone75 on 10/13/2010 4:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
Valid point, but wouldn't that just lower desirability to children....and make Android more attractive to them, as they ask parents for a phone other than iPhone.

Doesn't matter, unless that kid makes his own money and doesn't need the parent to buy anything for him.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Director on 10/13/2010 4:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
Now replace the word 'parent' with the word 'government' and see how 'cool' this idea is now.

RE: Reason 999,999
By Chocobollz on 10/14/2010 4:06:22 AM , Rating: 2
Air bags needed to prevent death. This is needed as an excuse for a bad parenting. End of story.

Dear Apple.
By dflynchimp on 10/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: Dear Apple.
By dflynchimp on 10/13/2010 9:49:48 AM , Rating: 1
Sincerely, dflynchimp

no say my name you c0ck sucking sonuvabitch, SAY MY NAME

oh yeah I love it when you talk like that, you jailbird you.

RE: Dear Apple.
By Gio6518 on 10/13/2010 12:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of when the original Napster implemented their filters....

You were getting bands like Metallicrap, motley fool, etc.

RE: Dear Apple.
By VahnTitrio on 10/13/2010 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
And spelling like this is how kids will get around that filter. I mean some of these kids' text messages these days you need an interpreter to read.

RE: Dear Apple.
By dflynchimp on 10/13/2010 10:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
True, but DT's filter is pretty lax. I play starcraft 2 and back in the beta they filtered out words like black, white and trans. Even registers TRANSport into %(#)@port lol.

At first I thought you were talking about my other unintentional misspells tho, previews be damned.

RE: Dear Apple.
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2010 10:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
umm....whats offensive about the words black, white and trans?

RE: Dear Apple.
By Anoxanmore on 10/13/2010 12:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
Racial epithet in addition to derogatory term for gender identity disorder (GID), much like tranny & etc.

RE: Dear Apple.
By Stublore on 10/13/2010 12:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
I can see how such a term might be derogatory, but could you please explain how it fits the definition of Racial epithet.
I was not aware trannies(?) were a race!

RE: Dear Apple.
By foolsgambit11 on 10/13/2010 5:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of the 'Tyson Homosexual' story from couple of years ago. World-Class sprinter Tyson Gay got auto-word-replaced on a Christian news site, so the article had lines like, "...Homosexual was a blur in blue..." and this gem, "'It means a lot to me,' the 25-year-old Homosexual said. 'I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.'"

RE: Dear Apple.
By tastyratz on 10/13/2010 3:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Are you REALLY going to swear that much in such a clever way as to avoid being rated down automatically by the dailytech engine? Thank you for making that post more family friendly. Surely your helpful poetic contribution will not be a -1 faster than you thought possible...

RE: Dear Apple.
By The Raven on 10/15/2010 11:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
Swear words? Where? All I see as objectionable is "big rubber dildo."

The rest is just gobbledygook.

I think you missed his point. The point where people will find a way to get around this nonsense. Whether it is this or cockney rhyming.

Can we Say First Amendment?
By cyberdunks on 10/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By Motley on 10/13/2010 11:01:32 AM , Rating: 5
That would be incorrect, on a number of counts. First, this isn't a 1st amendment issue, other than to say that obscene messages aren't protected AT ALL under the 1st amendment. The 1st amendment guarantees freedom of expression, but ONLY guarantees that freedom from congress (and later state). As "sexting" is over a commercial network, the 1st amendment doesn't apply at all, but if it did, it still would likely fail because obscenity/pornography specifically isn't covered as a freedom of expression.

You are probably a minor based on your stance, however, minors only have very limited protection under the 1st Amendment, many things override a minors "right" to freedom of expression.

RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/13/2010 4:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree on most of your points except that pornography is covered under the 1st amendment. pornographic websites are created all the time on the premise of the 1st amendment. The point I do agree with is minors have limited 1st amendment rights. If a parent does not want there child to see something or read something that is their parent's right to do that. A minor does not have the right to send or say whatever they want

RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By kingmotley on 10/13/2010 8:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, websites might be able to say it's a freedom of the press issue, but not freedom of expression/speech. Different portion of the 1st amendment. It would be hard to say that sexting should be covered under freedom of the press.

Because Dog knows...
By Motoman on 10/13/2010 10:02:37 AM , Rating: 5 *never* use language their parents wouldn't approve of under any circumstances other than sexting.

Stupid smurfing idiots. Go smurf yourselves, you smurfing smurfs.

RE: Because Dog knows...
By Omega215D on 10/13/2010 6:45:49 PM , Rating: 3
I smurfed her last night.

Get the smurf outta here!

Exactly what the world needs
By theapparition on 10/13/2010 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 5
Not only do I want to stop my kids from sexting, but I want it to automatically alert local school administrators who can step in, overreact, call the police, and my children can go to jail for transmission of child pronography.

I've always wanted to ruin my children's future, now I have the easy means with clean hands. Way to go Steve!!!!

Just add a History
By Lanister on 10/13/2010 1:09:50 PM , Rating: 1
Simple solution, providers should let the account owner select which lines they want a history of all text and video messages available for access. Knowing your parents will read your text and see any photos you send or receive should be a strong deterrent.

RE: Just add a History
By cjohnson2136 on 10/13/2010 4:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a solution because parents would have to care enough to check all that. The fact is a lot of parents don't and try to use software like this to just spy on their kids instead of actually parenting and teaching them that this is wrong. Another thing is kids learn all this stuff from the movies their parents let them watch anyway. They are only repeating what they are taught from the boob tube.

RE: Just add a History
By Chocobollz on 10/14/2010 4:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
Good, and now, kids with even half a brain will use another media to do whatever they want. Or hell, they will meet up somewhere and do that "sexting". Are you satisfied with that? You can't block someone from doing what they want.

By Proxes on 10/13/2010 10:10:59 AM , Rating: 2
Like others have shown, this won't work. They'll just work around it. What they really need to come up with is a way to have a parent phone receive every inbound and outbound text that a monitored phone receives.

Add a "monitor" section to the parent phone where the other phone's texts are logged. That way the parent phone doesn't get them with notifications.

RE: meh
By Chocobollz on 10/14/2010 4:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
It won't work either. If any other way has failed, they'll just meet up somewhere and do that "sexting" (not just talk about it). You can't ban human curiousity.

By raumkrieger on 10/13/2010 10:58:33 AM , Rating: 4
Because actual parenting is hard.

Patent granted?!?!?!
By Kary on 10/13/2010 3:04:47 PM , Rating: 3
The ability to check text messages for certain words and react to them....this is supposed to be new.

Goodness knows World of Warcraft used to bleep me.

And my spell checker to, for that matter.

How will this help?
By MrTeal on 10/13/2010 10:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
It's not like kids actually use English when they're texting anyway. Unless Apple has another patent in the works for a leet-speak translator, this will only be useful for stopping granny who still uses the Queen's English from trying to get some nookie at the nursing home.

Because it's from Apple...
By lawrance on 10/14/2010 2:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wow you people amaze me. I guess the evil empire AKA Apple can never do anything noteworthy huh? As the father of a 3 year old girl, I know I have less than 10 years to figure out webcam/sexting issues. I'll do my best to instill good values but sometimes a parent needs a little extra help from technology. Rather than make new enemies from the Fandroid club, I think Apple's new patent will draw interest from other mobile OS's who may want to integrate this technology as an option for parents who have valid concerns over their children's content. If Micro$oft created this you would be saying kudos!

By DKantUno on 10/28/2010 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
@some Fandroids here, so are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that some (if not a good number of) manufacturers will NOT include, nay, actively AVOID putting this feature in their Android phones so they could be more attractive to teenagers surviving on pocket money?

Yeah ok, you sound perfectly reasonable.

In fact, I'm pretty sure there already IS an app like this on Android; just can't remember the name....

Which btw, again adds a ton of legitimacy to the patent-granting process.

Anyhow, it's pretty clear why they are doing it. This is another thing Apple can wave under businesses' noses when trying to sell them iPhones. And there's the hordes of parents who'd love this feature...

To all others, how does it matter? And if it really bothers you, just don't buy a product with this technology. And if you're a kid, you're screwed anyway because your parents can impose whatever controls they'd like!

This is only news because "Apple" makes for a nice click-count bump.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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