San Francisco: Apple has been granted a patent that allows parents to prevent their children from sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages.
The patent was granted Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office and allows parents or other administrators of mobile phones to set definitions for banned texts. Messages containing the offending words could be censored or deleted before reaching the recipient.
Parents could also opt to receive an alert whenever a text message containing a banned term was used.
The patent also could be used as an educational tool in which parents could control the language that texts are sent in, and their spelling. Parents could set quotas for texting and reign in or revoke texting capabilities if the standards are not met.
"The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria," the patent says. "The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application. These techniques also may be used, in accordance with instructional embodiments, to require the administered devices to include certain text in messages. These embodiments might, for example, require that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish."