With reports of email censorship on its iCloud service Apple may be taking its responsibilities for content held on the cloud storage service a little too far.
In 1984 the launch of the original Mac desktop PC was accompanied by a commercial, directed by Ridley Scott depicting a world of slaves all following an Orwellian dictator character. At the time Apple wanted to be seen as the liberator of desktop PC users, freeing the world from the apparently oppressive yolk of IBM and Microsoft.
Spool forward 30 years and things have changed quite a lot.
The iStore will only sell apps approved by their staff that conform to their labyrinthine and occasionally draconian Terms & Conditions. iPhones and iPads cannot be serviced by anyone other than the Apple Store without your warranty being metaphorically shredded by the company. If you want to run software from outside the iStore ecosystem you have to jailbreak the device, thereby invalidating the warranty again.
And now, apparently censorship.
This article from the Apple-centric website Cult of Mac seems indicate that Apple are censoring emails by detecting certain key phrases that they deem are objectionable. One in particular “barely legal teens” is obviously singled out because of its association with a certain type of pornographic genre.
The Apple Ts & Cs state they might carry out this form of censorship but why not stick the emails in a spam folder? That way inadvertent use of a phrase that the Apple mail scanners find objectionable can be more easily identified and less time wasted wondering where your email has gone. With the phrase “barely legal teens” you can understand where the company are coming from, but what other phrases are they filtering out? So far Apple are staying tight lipped.
As a footnote to all this, the “1984” commercial that apple is so noted for was pulled quite quickly. Not because its work was done but because the estate of George Orwell felt the imagery was quite obviously a blatant infringement of their copyright of the late George Orwell’s seminal and classic novel. Oops.