According to MacRumors, iOS 15.2’s latest beta includes an Apple Communication Safety feature to the Messages app. The opt-in tool scans incoming and outgoing photographs for “sexually explicit” material in order to safeguard minors from improper imagery. Any photographs that fit this description will be blurred, and the youngster will be informed about the contents and urged not to look at them. The function, which works with Apple’s current Family Sharing system, is also intended to provide resources for youngsters who are in need of assistance.

The version of the feature included in the newest beta of iOS 15.2 differs from what Apple announced in August in that it would not notify parents if a child views a sexually graphic image. This factor, according to critics like Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic teacher Kendra Albert, might out LGBT or transgender youngsters to their parents. According to MacRumors, the feature could have caused safety concerns in its earlier form if a parent was violent or abusive.

According to News Media, youngsters will instead have the option of notifying someone they trust about a flagged photo, which will be distinct from the option of unblurring and viewing the image. The checks are done on-device and have no effect on end-to-end encryption.

The Communication Safety feature was first introduced in August as part of a trio of measures aimed at preventing sexual abuse of youngsters. However, in response to privacy advocates’ concerns, the firm said that the functionalities will be delayed until the following month.

The CSAM-detection (child sexual abuse imagery detection) tool, which examines a user’s iCloud Photos and submits offensive content to Apple censors and sparked the most outrage from privacy activists, is not the same as Communication Safety. Also coming soon is an upgrade to Siri search that will provide resources whenever a user searches for issues related to child sexual abuse. It’s unknown when these two improvements will be released, and no reports of them appearing in Apple’s public beta software have surfaced.

It’s worth mentioning that the features included in the current beta of iOS 15.2 could change drastically before the official release, and they could even be removed entirely. A manual AirTag scanning capability has also been included to the current beta, as well as the option to pass on your iCloud data to a loved one in the event of your death.

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