New Japanese smartphone prohibits users from taking naked selfies

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 (US$180), 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.

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).

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

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