Apple to release changed iMessage nudity detecting tool for children in beta


Apple proposed tools to protect children in the summer, but has since delayed their release.

James Martin/CNET

Apple will begin beta testing a feature for its iMessage text messaging app designed to protect children from sending or receiving nude images, the company said Tuesday. The new feature, which Apple adjusted after receiving feedback from critics, is part of a series of new capabilities designed to fight child exploitation.

Apple’s new messages feature will analyze an attachment in a text message or iMessage sent to users marked as children to determine if it contains nudity. Apple said it will maintain message encryption as part of the process, and it’s designed so that no indication of the detection or nudity leave the device.

The tech giant also said that it’s changed how the system works. Initially, Apple intended to alert parents of children under the age of 13 if they viewed or sent the image anyway. Apple now will allow the children to choose whether or not to alert someone they trust. And the choice is separate from whether or not they view the image.


Apple’s new system for child safety in iMessages.


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