Adult content filters for iPhone and iPad required under Utah bill

Posted:
in iOS edited March 6
A bill was approved in Utah to force smartphone and tablet producers to include automatic filters blocking pornography, a feature Apple offers users in iOS.




Approved on Thursday by the Utah House of Representatives, the HB72 "Device Filter Amendments" bill requires mobile devices sold or produced in the state to include software filters. These filters would be automatically enabled, blocking material deemed "harmful to minors" on the iPhone or iPad.

As part of the activation, the bill also allows certain users of the devices to deactivate the filter completely or for specific content, reports Law & Crime. The device would also warn users that content is being filtered.

The bill will allow the attorney general or the public to sue manufacturers that do not include the filters, with lawsuits able to be launched once a minor accesses "harmful" material. The bill's proposed penalty of "up to $10 for each violation" would be partially payable to the Crime Victims Reparations Fund for the state, as well as possible actual damages to the plaintiff.

While the filters may not be perfect, the bill seems to accept mistakes will occur. It states that manufacturers making a "good faith effort" to include the filters would be looked upon favorably by courts in the event adult material is viewed by a minor.

The bill has already received some criticism, including from senators. Senator Jake Anderegg said the bill "logistically" wouldn't work because it would force device producers to turn on the software, rather than sellers who typically deal with software when providing products to consumers.

Senator Kathleen Riebe was apparently concerned there would be an "undue burden" on interstate commerce caused by the bill.

While the bill was approved by the state's House of Representatives, and was previously approved by the senate, it won't affect Apple and other companies just yet. For a start, the rules start from January 1 of the year after the bill takes effect .

The bill itself also wouldn't come into force until at least five other states pass similar legislation.

Apple is already well-positioned to comply with the bill's demands, due to existing features built into iOS and iPadOS. The Screen Time parental controls are best known for limiting access to apps and to prevent expensive in-app purchases, but they also contain content controls.

Under Screen Time's Content & Privacy Restrictions, a section marked "Content Restrictions" lists different areas of iOS that can be managed. An option for Web Content includes options for "unrestricted access," "allowed websites only," and the ability to "limit adult websites."

While this does not include the automatic enabling of the filters that the bill demands, it is plausible that Apple could come up with a way to comply with the bill.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,287member
    Damn!
    I thought we were a nation.
    But some think we're really just a herd of 50 cats all going out own way.

    #Enough of these crazy low life state politicians encroaching into areas that would force national & global enterprises to act like mom & pop stores.

    We as a nation need to compete globally if we are to retain our success.  This stuff just impairs our ability as a nation to do what we need to do:  compete.
    omar moraleszeus423rob53killroyviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 42
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 454member
    It's a shame, but Apple will most likely comply if they need to change any existing controls since it is their best business interests to do so. The tools to block certain types of material already exist and Apple has embraced the strongest controls of any OS.

    I do not object to a user setting up their own device to filter certain material, but I what I strenuously object to is government mandating such things. It is none of their business. Another intrusion into people's personal lives sponsored by government.

    Given the tools to block this content already exist, it is clear this is little more than the usual political grandstanding by worthless politicians trying to plump up their resume in a state that is generally quite conservative. Interesting enough, their are several "Mormon" porn sites so a lot of them seem to enjoy the very material they want to block. It would not be surprising to find the bill's sponsor had a secret stash of Mormon porn on his/her Android phone! If she/he had aniPhone she/he would have filtered it out!

    edited March 6 omar moraleszeus423rob53ITGUYINSDgilly33viclauyyciyfcalvinbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 3 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,026member
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    aderutterwatto_cobrapatchythepirate
  • Reply 4 of 42
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 454member
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    What is a "reasonable" porn filter versus an unreasonable one? I would like automatic default filters on Fox News, Donald Trump, Trump's children, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. I find them incredibly more offensive and damaging than pictures of naked people engaging in sexual activity and certainly they are vastly more damaging to our country and youth's development as mature, emotionally healthy adults than those naked people I mention and what they might be doing on camera or in pictures.

    It is not reasonable porn filters should be automatic by default. Why should they be automatic? The means to restrict minors access is there and publicized by Apple. The idea there should be automatic filters applied to non-minors is close to being offensive. Don't like it, don't look.
    Automatic is just another extension of the the government and religious conservatives into other's lives. "God" forbid someone should unintentionally see someone's genitalia or naked breasts. I am sure they would be scarred for life.


    rob53killroyGeorgeBMacelijahgviclauyycrcfabonobobDogpersonwatto_cobraCloudTalkin
  • Reply 5 of 42
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,497member
    tommikele said:
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    What is a "reasonable" porn filter versus an unreasonable one? I would like automatic default filters on Fox News, Donald Trump, Trump's children, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. I find them incredibly more offensive and damaging than pictures of naked people engaging in sexual activity and certainly they are vastly more damaging to our country and youth's development as mature, emotionally healthy adults than those naked people I mention and what they might be doing on camera or in pictures.

    It is not reasonable porn filters should be automatic by default. Why should they be automatic? The means to restrict minors access is there and publicized by Apple. The idea there should be automatic filters applied to non-minors is close to being offensive. Don't like it, don't look.
    Automatic is just another extension of the the government and religious conservatives into other's lives. "God" forbid someone should unintentionally see someone's genitalia or naked breasts. I am sure they would be scarred for life.


    Have to remember the US was formed by a bunch of puritanical British exiles. Wonder if Naked and Afraid will be blocked. TV stations will complain if their advertising revenue is affected. 
    tommikelewatto_cobraronnFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 42
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 19member
    I’d be willing to bet every signer of this bill uses porn is some flavor. Those who smelt it, dealt it.
    raoulduke42elijahgviclauyycwatto_cobradarkvadergilly33StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 42
    tommikele said:
    It's a shame, but Apple will most likely comply if they need to change any existing controls since it is their best business interests to do so. The tools to block certain types of material already exist and Apple has embraced the strongest controls of any OS.

    I do not object to a user setting up their own device to filter certain material, but I what I strenuously object to is government mandating such things. It is none of their business. Another intrusion into people's personal lives sponsored by government.

    Given the tools to block this content already exist, it is clear this is little more than the usual political grandstanding by worthless politicians trying to plump up their resume in a state that is generally quite conservative. Interesting enough, their are several "Mormon" porn sites so a lot of them seem to enjoy the very material they want to block. It would not be surprising to find the bill's sponsor had a secret stash of Mormon porn on his/her Android phone! If she/he had aniPhone she/he would have filtered it out!

    Never can become law. It's flawed and will be in court for years and years if it was passed. 
    GeorgeBMacraoulduke42tommikelewatto_cobradarkvader
  • Reply 8 of 42
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 446member
    If I’m honest it’s surprising that this isn’t already enabled by default.
    In a way I think Apple should enable the filter by default - to protect minors from parents that don’t care enough.
    I’m not sure that a law should require it however.

    lkruppwatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 42
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,159member
    Pathetic priorities.
    raoulduke42viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,440moderator
    tommikele said:
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    It is not reasonable porn filters should be automatic by default. Why should they be automatic?
    This is the case with most other things - TV, advertising, default search engine settings etc:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watershed_(broadcasting)

    I get the argument about not having individual freedoms infringed on because of other people's kids but having safe defaults is good for everyone. If someone uses a search engine at work, they most likely don't want to have dozens of explicit images pop up on their screen. When they are at home and want to see them, they can turn the filter off.

    Where I find it crosses a line is like on Youtube where they ask for a credit card or id to turn off the restricted filter. I think that should just be a computer setting that it queries whether you approve of adult material. An API that sits on the computer can do that. If the device is restricted by default, it can be setup with an undefined age in the settings, which is assumed to be underage and all coppa-compliant sites can assume they should apply restrictions.

    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-coppa-frequently-asked-questions-0

    This can also work for chat sites and webcams. A big problem today is children being groomed online and sites don't have any way of determining if the user is an adult. If they can tell the difference by querying a setting, they can offer a lot more protection online. To go even further, people can apply for a cryptographic key using an id or credit card and that can be used for all sites like Youtube and they don't each have to ask for credit card details, they just query if the key is valid and the device API returns to confirm if it is without revealing the key.
    bageljoeypatchythepiratemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 42
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 366member
    tommikele said:
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    What is a "reasonable" porn filter versus an unreasonable one? I would like automatic default filters on Fox News, Donald Trump, Trump's children, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. I find them incredibly more offensive and damaging than pictures of naked people engaging in sexual activity and certainly they are vastly more damaging to our country and youth's development as mature, emotionally healthy adults than those naked people I mention and what they might be doing on camera or in pictures.

    It is not reasonable porn filters should be automatic by default. Why should they be automatic? The means to restrict minors access is there and publicized by Apple. The idea there should be automatic filters applied to non-minors is close to being offensive. Don't like it, don't look.
    Automatic is just another extension of the the government and religious conservatives into other's lives. "God" forbid someone should unintentionally see someone's genitalia or naked breasts. I am sure they would be scarred for life.


    Ahh porn is a lot more than just ‘genitalia and naked breasts’ as you put it. Kids having access to this form of sex education (sarcasm) can be quite harmful. Having said that  I’m with you as to the motives of these politicians and they IMO policing of my smartphone. I trust them as far as I can throw them. 
  • Reply 12 of 42
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 255member
    aderutter said:
    If I’m honest it’s surprising that this isn’t already enabled by default.
    In a way I think Apple should enable the filter by default - to protect minors from parents that don’t care enough.
    I’m not sure that a law should require it however.


    I'm not sure that some small slice of the iPhone market (those minors with parents that don't care enough) is worthy of making the majority of iPhone market have to OPT-OUT of a filter.  When i OPT-OUT, am I flagged somewhere as a porn watcher since I opted out?  It should be OPT-IN and/or just go buy filter software for your kids iPhone.  If you're that poor of a parent, it should not be my problem.
    raoulduke42viclauyycdarkvader
  • Reply 13 of 42
    I know a lot of negligent parents that let their kids have full access to any social media apps and internet sites they want without restriction.  Who is going to filter all that and what’s the point if the parent doesn’t care enough to set all this up?  It’s not just web pages.  
    viclauyycdewme
  • Reply 14 of 42
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,345member
    So let me get this correct: Utah state government wants to be Big Brother and mandate a lock on certain kinds of content it doesn’t want you to see, it’s possible to unlock, but the lock is there by default, and you have no choice to buy a device that doesn’t include the lock. Do I have that correct?

    Well that certainly doesn’t sound authoritarian/totalitarian AT ALL!

    I wonder which political party is pushing this sort of puritanical censorship? Sounds like something the Taliban would like.
    edited March 6 dewmedarkvaderronnStrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 42
    gilly33 said:

    Kids having access to this form of sex education (sarcasm) can be quite harmful. 
    Really? Is there credible (I.e., peer-reviewed, published in a top journal) research in this?
    darkvaderStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,287member
    gilly33 said:

    Kids having access to this form of sex education (sarcasm) can be quite harmful. 
    Really? Is there credible (I.e., peer-reviewed, published in a top journal) research in this?

    I'm sure my 14 year old grandson would volunteer for a such study!
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 17 of 42
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,536member
    This is how it starts.

    I'm not going to defend the specific type of content or media being mentioned, but what constitutes "harmful to minors" is highly subjective and subject to interpretation. I'd bet that all kinds of proponents of certain ideologies, religions, anti-religions, political affiliations, cultural followings, lifestyle choices, etc., would be very quick to identify what they see as "harmful to minors." For example, some folks believe that religious indoctrination of minors is harmful, while others believe that teaching children about science and evolution is harmful. Do people who subscribe to either of these positions, or any such positions, really want the government forcing companies who produce media consumption devices to censor-by-default only what they view as offensive?

    Device makers already provide parental controls on devices to limit what can be consumed. I'd bet that every child who has access to devices with parental controls in place knows how to circumvent the controls, much like citizens in authoritarian states know how to get around firewalls and censorship. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    If parents want to censor what their children are allowed to consume it should be up to parents to take active measures to enforce their policies - no matter what it takes, up to and including removing unattended access to devices, home schooling, etc. Trying to force device makers to do a job the parents should be doing, for whatever reasons the parents choose, is a dereliction of responsibility. If you want to enforce total authoritarian control over your spawn, you have to do the work and put in the hours to enforce your will upon them. Don't expect device makers to do the work for you.
    edited March 7 GeorgeBMacronnFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 18 of 42
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 519member
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    It does not seem reasonable that content is blocked by default.  And who decides what "porn" is?
    ronnStrangeDaysfastasleep
  • Reply 19 of 42
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 344member
    lkrupp said:
    Seems reasonable that porn filters should be automatic by default. Those who wish to view such material can opt-in if they choose I hope. Leave it to the Mormons to come with this.
    Can we have religion filters by default, too? I'm offended by most of them in one way or another.
    GeorgeBMacdarkvaderjdb8167stourqueStrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Talk about your nanny state, isn’t that te responsibility of parents?.  Why don’t they just cancel the internet while they are at it?   QOP rum amok
    StrangeDays
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