Print 58 comment(s) - last by DKantUno.. on Oct 28 at 3:11 PM

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!

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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