Apple expands child Communication Safety in Messages tool to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK with iOS 15.5
Apple has released iOS 15.5 today, bringing with it the iPhone maker’s child Communication Safety in Messages tool to users in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK, marking the first international expansion of the tool that warns children and their parents when a child receives or sends sexually explicit photos through iMessage.
Launched in the US with iOS 15.2 last year, Apple’s child Communication Safety in Messages feature sends warnings to alert children and parents when a sexually explicit image is sent or received on a device connected to iCloud Family Sharing as well as the automatic blurring of explicit images sent in Messages.
Verified by The Apple Post, in the UK, iOS 15.5’s release notes show the addition of “new safety features for children and parents in Messages,” with Wayback Machine showing Apple’s webpage changing to list Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK as newly available regions after it was reported last month that Apple was planning to widen its new safety feature.
With child Communication Safety in Messages features turned on, the explicit image received by a child will be blurred and the child will be warned, presented with helpful resources, and reassured it is okay if they do not want to view this photo. As an additional precaution, the child can also be told that, to make sure they are safe, their parents will get a message if they do view it. Similar protections are available if a child attempts to send sexually explicit photos. The child will be warned before the photo is sent, and the parents can receive a message if the child chooses to send it.
The Messages app uses on-device machine learning to analyze image attachments and determine if a photo is sexually explicit. The feature is designed so that Apple does not get access to the messages.