Apple has released information about its new software update this week, with the iPhone becoming more intuitive than ever before.
However, one new update – called Check In – has posed safety concerns among social media users, who fear the feature won’t be used for its intended purpose.
Check In is tied in with the text messaging function that allows a user to notify a family member or friend when they have made it to their final destination.
“If they are not making progress toward their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status,” a media release about the update explains.
“Any information shared is end-to-end encrypted.”
Some social media users praised the new feature, saying it gave them peace of mind if a loved one goes out.
“I’m so guilty of texting my bf that I’m in an Uber and then forgetting to let him know when I actually make it to the destination this is so helpful,” one said.
Another said they loved the idea, but hated that it was necessary.
“As someone who has a partner with ADHD that travels often, I am so thankful for this,” one added.
Others were more skeptical of the feature, suggesting it would be used by controlling partners to further assert their dominance.
“This can be great, but can also become really toxic,” one social media user said.
Another added: “Helpful for parents, nervous for what other people will use this for, such as abusive partners.”
“Seems like controlling partners could abuse this function in a domestic violence situation too,” another said.
One person commented: “I can think of so many ways this could be used nefariously and like one kinda extreme example of it being kinda beneficial.”
Allan Ball, the national director of White Ribbon Australia, told news.com.au that online communication technologies are used to stalk, threaten, monitor, and harass victims.
“Technology-facilitated abuse is on the rise, enabling offenders to harass victims around-the-clock, making the abuse even more intrusive,” Ball said.
“While this new auto-text function is designed to let people know the user is safe, mobile devices are widely used to track victims of family domestic violence and abuse as another form of coercive control – a pattern of abusive behavior that we continue to lobby to have criminalized across all States and Territories.”
“Ending these behaviours requires all of us to step in and call it out when we see it, whether it’s in the home of a family member, or in the workplace.
“Addressing the issue of perpetrators and prevention in conversations about power and dominance is crucial. Perpetrators, often men, need to reflect on their power and dominance dynamics for progress to be made.”
However, on a positive note, Ball added that recent findings from the National Research Organization for Women’s Safety survey showed a huge increase of awareness of how to recognize controlling behavior as a form of domestic violence, such as phone tracking, denying a partner access to money, telling them what they can wear and cutting off access to friends and family.
“This shows progress in understanding the complex dynamics of abuse and the need to address it in all its forms. We cannot let online platforms and telephone services continue to enable these behaviours,” he said.
News.com.au has contacted Apple for comment.
Source by [New York Post]