Apple Bans Sexy Apps. But Is It Enough?

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Last month Apple finally made the move to ban sexy applications from the company’s popular App Store. Female customers and parents can claim a big victory here because it was their loud and justifiable chorus of complaints that led to the change.

Apple made parental controls available last summer after parents complained of their absence on early versions of the iTouch and iPhone. But many felt that the large quantities of sexually suggestive apps for sale in the App Store was a problem as well. The recently banned applications included women in suggestive adult poses and/or barely dressed women. An estimated 5% of the 140,000 applications in the App Store were affected by the new decency standards. Noteworthy exemptions from the new policy are Playboy and Sports Illustrated’s Swim Suit application.

Limitations You Needs To Know

I applaud Apple’s move to make their App Store more family friendly and the introduction of parental controls last year. But it is important to understand the parental control limitations. Unless you block access to the Safari Internet browser on the device, kids can still access pornography on the iTouch and iPhone. Even if you set all of the parental control filters in the “Allowed Content” section to the most restrictive level, a simple Safari web search on the device for “iTouch porn” or “iPhone porn” will lead directly to tons of porn websites. I’m not sure what the “Allowed Content” section is filtering, but it isn’t porn.

If you are considering an iPhone or iTouch for your child, be sure to test drive the device for yourself before handing it over to your child. Check out this How-to-guide for setting up iTouch and iPhone parental control if you need assistance.

I want to know what you think. Is Apple’s doing enough on this issue or should they give parents more options to monitor or restrict how their children are using the iTouch and iPhone?

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Tim Woda is a passionate advocate for protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers – cyberbullying, sexting and predators. He co-founded KidSafe, is the author of Keeping Kids Safe: A Guide for Parents of Social and Mobile Children and is a frequent public speaker on the topic.

Copyright © 2009 Tim Woda

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Categories: Ecommerce, Mobile


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