Wanna Receive an Alert When Your Kid Sends Someone a Naughty Photo?

The era of surveillance parenting is upon us

April 27, 2017 9:00 am

If being a parent sounds like one giant worry, that’s because it is.

Are they in the right school? Are they breathing clean air? Are they receiving smutty selfies from little Johnny? Wait … they’re sending the smutty selfies to little Johnny?

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. A new app called Gallery Guardian claims it can detect and alert you whenever your child receives, saves or sends a pornographic image. Made by AI company YIPO Technologies, Gallery Guardian is downloaded onto your family’s devices and can detect skin in images. As founder — and father of four — Daniel Skowronski told the Daily Mail, “I realised how widely children as young as eight were sharing these inappropriate images.” He also pointed to a dangerous trend of teenage boys refusing to go out with girls who don’t show skin.

Is this all a bit alarmist? Taboo though the topic may be, this certainly isn’t a new trend. I asked girls to do all sorts of stupid things as a youngster, and for the most part, they told me to get lost and grow up. With proper guidance (aka parents), boys grow into good men and girls grow into strong women. Running 24-hour surveillance on them won’t necessarily achieve that.

As for the app’s effectiveness, the BBC did a little test. Of the 20 salacioius images the BBC submitted, Gallery Guardian flagged 12 and missed eight. Problems arise when, say, a man is wearing a shirt and no pants. Skowronski explains: “It’s because we attack it mostly on skin at first. We are trying to have it recognize genitalia as well.”

The app also won’t work for the likes of Snapchat (which Skowronski suggests prohibiting altogether).

As a former rulebreaking adolescent, I’d advise you pass on Gallery Guardian in favor of some old-school parenting methods: open, frank and consistent discourse. They’ll figure out a way to subvert anything else, trust.

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