New iPhone feature warns about unwanted nudes

Apple announced a slew of new iPhone features at this year’s WWDC keynote, like FaceTime voicemails and Check In. But even more new additions are coming to iOS 17 beyond what was announced on stage. Along with several other safety features, Apple is releasing Sensitive Content Warning, which lets adult users know if they receive a photo or video that they might not want to see.

In the screen that Apple shared in its blog post, this feature seems to be specifically designed for nude photos and videos. If you receive a nude image, a pop-up will appear asking if you want to see this sensitive content. When receiving an unsolicited nude, this could help users avoid seeing something that they didn’t consent to see.

“Naked photos and videos show the private body parts that are usually covered by underwear or bathing suits,” the pop-up explains. “It’s not your fault, but naked photos and videos can be used to hurt you.” The screen goes on to explain that the person in the photo or video may or may not have consented to this media being shared.

Users are presented with three options — in addition to opting into or out of seeing the image or video, they can tap on “ways to get help.” Since iOS 17 hasn’t rolled out yet, we don’t know where this link directs, but if used correctly, it could be a good way to share resources about how to proceed in situations of sexual harassment.

Apple didn’t share whether or not this feature is turned on by default, or if it can be disabled, but typically these safety tools can be toggled on or off.

Like other communication safety features on the iPhone, the processing to detect possible sensitive content all occurs on-device. So, that means that if you send someone a nude photo (consensually, please!), then Apple isn’t accessing your private images.

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