Apple bringing its child safety features in iMessage to UK and Canada

Ios 14 Messages Groups Inline Replies Mentions
Ios 14 Messages Groups Inline Replies Mentions (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is rolling out its child safety feature in iMessage to children in the UK and Canada.
  • "Communication Safety in Messages" scans photos sent or received in iMessage for nudity.

"Communication Safety in Messages" is making its way from the United States to the United Kingdom and Canada.

As reported by The Guardian, the safety feature, which scans photos sent or received by a child for nudity, will be rolling out soon for iPhones in the country. The feature is handled on device so Apple never sees the photos or the results of the scans.

If nudity is found in photos received by a child with the setting turned on, the photo will be blurred, and the child will be warned that it may contain sensitive content and nudged towards resources from child safety groups. If nudity is found in photos sent by a child, similar protections kick in, and the child is encouraged not to send the images, and given an option to "Message a Grown-Up".

Apple Child Safety

Apple Child Safety (Image credit: Apple)

In a statement, the company said that the feature, which tries to protect children from sensitive images, maintains the end-to-end encryption of the messages.

"Messages analyses image attachments and determines if a photo contains nudity, while maintaining the end-to-end encryption of the messages. The feature is designed so that no indication of the detection of nudity ever leaves the device. Apple does not get access to the messages, and no notifications are sent to the parent or anyone else."

The company is also launching a number of features that are intended to " intervene when content related to child exploitation is searched for in Spotlight, Siri or Safari."

Apple announced a ton of child safety features back in 2021, but not all of them have been released yet. Some proved to be too much for some users and the company has delayed certain features in order to get more feedback from child safety and privacy groups.

You can learn about the current child safety features on Apple's webpage.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.