Smartphone app 'tells parents when children are sexting'

Telegraph Reporters
Eight in ten parents are worried about their children 'sexting' - © juan moyano / Alamy Stock Photo

Parents worried their children are swapping inappropriate pictures and selfies with friends or even strangers online are being offered a smartphone app to automatically spot suspect images.

The firm behind Gallery Guardian says it uses sophisticated image recognition software to scan pictures appearing on a child’s mobile to detect naked skin, genitalia or breast exposure.

If the app spots a suspect image on the child’s phone, the parent is immediately sent an alert reading “suspicious image detected”.

What are the UK laws on sexting?

Daniel Skowronski, a 50-year-old a father-of-four from London who came up with the idea told the Mail on Sunday: “I realised how widely children as young as eight were sharing these inappropriate images.

Mr Skowronski, founder of YIPO Technologies, which specialises in photo-recognition technology, : “Boys are saying to girls right now: ‘If you don't send me something I'm not going to ask you out.’

“It's ridiculous to imagine the world they're living. This app brings parents peace of mind that there is technology working for them and watching everything their child is doing. It's all about putting power back into the parents' hands.”

Sexting dictionary for parents

A recent poll found the craze for so-called sexting, or swapping explicit photographs or messages by mobile phone, is now a bigger worry for parents than smoking or alcohol abuse.

Nine out of 10 parents agreed schools should do more to educate pupils on the dangers of sending revealing images, while 78 percent were either 'fairly concerned' or 'very concerned' about sexting, while 69 percent are concerned about alcohol misuse and 67 percent for smoking.

Figures released by the NSPCC in September 2016, also revealed that more than 2,000 children have been reported to the police over indecent images.

Child protection campaigner Pippa Smith said: “Ultimately, reducing sexting can't just be left to technology. Children need to know it is wrong and why. However, they do not have the cognitive maturity to resist this sexualised culture.”

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