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Photo: Tone Mobile
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New Japanese smartphone prohibits users from taking naked selfies

17 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

While Japan gets as excited for the latest and greatest iPhone as any other economically prosperous country, it’s not like every shopper wants to pay the premium for bleeding-edge telecommunications gear. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole segment of the smartphone market here, called kakiyasu smartphones, specifically serving people who want to both have a smartphone and to stick to a budget.

The newest kakiyasu smartphone model, from low-cost provider Tone Mobile, is the Tone e20. Priced at a very reasonable 19,800 yen , it still boasts a perfectly acceptable list of features, with a 6.26-inch display, Android 9.0 operating system, 64 gigs of storage, and a triple-lens camera. It also comes with something called “Smartphone Protection,” but that’s not to protect the phone from damage, but a way by which the phone protects the user.

Smartphone Protection is an AI system that works with the Tone e20’s camera. After a photo is taken, Smartphone Protection analyzes the image and checks to see if it’s “inappropriate.” While Tone Mobile doesn’t say exactly where that line is drawn, it has announced that Smartphone Protection won’t allow you to take naked selfies. If you try to, you’ll get an error message saying that the photo cannot be taken, and the image data will be discarded without being saved.

▼ The error screen, with text saying “Photo not taken due to inappropriate content.”

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However, Tone Mobile didn’t develop Smartphone Protection because they think that consenting adults sending each other sexy pictures is sinful, but in hopes of protecting children and teens. With smartphones all being instantly internet ready, the company wants to provide increased security for minors who may be targeted by online scams and coercion tactics in which they’re tricked or threatened into sending nude pictures of themselves.

To that end, Smartphone Protection can also be linked via an app to a parent or guardian’s phone. If the link is established, when the Tone e20’s user attempts to take an inappropriate photo the parent’s phone receives an alert, which contains the date and time of the attempted photo, GPS information for where the attempt took place, and a pixelated thumbnail of the photo (which Tone Mobile says is not retained on any other devices or servers).

▼ The app alert

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Ostensibly Smartphone Protection can be disabled by adult users who wish to be able to photograph themselves wearing as little as they wish. Alternatively, it seems like you could also ask your spouse or dating partner to keep the function active and link it to your phone, if you’re worried about them fooling around behind your back and sending naked pics to someone else.

Source: Tone Mobile via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Heroic Japanese convenience store owner saves foreigner from online scam artist

-- Keep your smartphone safe in a pouch styled after Japanese Shinto/Buddhist protection amulets

-- Japanese teachers confiscate students’ cell phones following Osaka earthquake, get slammed online

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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which Tone Mobile says is not retained on any other devices or servers)

wait wait wait.... the smarts for that would be in the cloud, you are literally uploading all your images to someone... keyword "retained"... your naked images are uploaded to be checked by a machine and possibly a human (when they want to increase the accuracy).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Smartphone Protection is an AI system that works with the Tone e20’s camera. After a photo is taken, Smartphone Protection analyzes the image and checks to see if it’s “inappropriate.” 

SMH...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and a pixelated thumbnail of the photo

I don't want to receive a pixelated image of my nude child. Also, this phone was seeming like a good idea for children; however, the AI isn't directly attached to the phone and the system also keeps the image to determine where and how to pixelate it. This system would literally give access of my children's photos to a company and company employees that I wouldn't want to have such access.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

lol, prude phone... i guess there is a market for it... they should market it in muslim countries

4 ( +5 / -1 )

 Smartphone Protection = meaning some underpaid indian dude

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Technically, it may be true that there is no human involvement -processing is done automatically via the app's own image filters (or simply put, what is being referred to by others as AI). We can even presume that the images are never hosted on any servers, just directly transferred from the child phone to the parent phone after pixelation processing.

But even if all the above is true, there are just too many variables and moral concerns that makes this technology less safe than it is proposing to be.

In the end, it is not a smartphone manufacturer's duty to fulfill "hopes of protecting children and teens" -the best they can do is provide a good quality smartphone at a good budget that has a decent battery life and excellent antenna technology in order to ensure that the user of the phone is able to use it in emergencies.

As for nude selfies, that's a matter raising and teaching children (and even adults) about the importance personal responsibility, understanding potential consequences of actions, and the re-evaluation of the significance of privacy online in relation to the use of devices with online functionalities.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It’s “Kakuyasu”, not “Kakiyasu”.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the AI isn't directly attached to the phone

It isn't clear from the article, but I've read elsewhere that the software does run on the phone and prevents "inappropriate" images leaving the device. (Apart from the pixellated thumbnail.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So what happens if you want to take a photo of your family and/or friends down at the beach? Everyone has to put some clothes on?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bigyen:

What beach are you at?

Also, if adults can disable, children can too. Many kids are better at these devices than adults.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Under ¥20,000 seems it’s meant for kids. I’d like to see succeed among adults. Haha. Never.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What ever happened to freedom of the individual and personal responsibility?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Englisc aspyrgend:

When big govt said you cant see or receive nudy pix. Guess they grandfathered renaissance art with the naked cupids and such. Sometimes people learn from mistakes best by consequences. Sometimes the kid needs to touch the stove to know not to do so again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you, Japan. At least now the Japanese poverty rate will decrease, along with restricting Japanese schoolgirls trying to expose themselves to becoming Japanese pornstars that will forbid them from trying to post it on their social media by restricting that too

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So what happens if you want to take a photo of your family and/or friends down at the beach? 

Use a camera! Remember those? :-)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

wait wait wait.... the smarts for that would be in the cloud, you are literally uploading all your images to someone... keyword "retained"... your naked images are uploaded to be checked by a machine and possibly a human (when they want to increase the accuracy).

Yeah, having this done as server-client is an open invitation to perverts to hack into the server for the honeypot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All the girls: "Ah but what would be the fun"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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