Apple has started making important changes to iOS that will see some photos automatically excluded from certain functions within the Photos app.
Apple is introducing some controversial changes to its Photos app.
The move is designed to prevent Apple’s Memories feature from generating unwanted or potentially offensive content. Memories are Apple’s automatically-created collections of images and video clips taken from your library that serve as reminders of significant people, places and events.
Now, according to a report by 9to5Mac, the latest beta version iOS 15.5 introduces a list of ‘Sensitive Locations’ deemed inappropriate for inclusion in a Memory.
The list currently includes:
Photos shot within a predefined radius of locations on this list will be automatically excluded from Memories. It’s clear that Apple’s first version of the list is based on Holocaust-related locations. Other locations could, no doubt, be added to the list at a future time.
It could be argued that photographs from locations on this list will form some deeply important memories or, at least, some valuable moments of reflection. However, there’s obviously potential for Apple’s algorithms to use them insensitively, perhaps with inappropriate music or juxtapositions with other unrelated content.
It appears there’s no way to disable Apple’s sensitive location protections, a fact that has already drawn some angry comments to the 9to5Mac report. Users are still free to create slideshows and albums from such locations manually, but it appears that Apple is starting to exercise more control over the content presented to users in the Photos app.
Personally, I would prefer a customizable exclusions list with some sensible defaults. If you want to be reminded of important events from sensitive locations, why should you be prevented from seeing them? Now that Apple has a list of sensitive locations, it could create memories from such locations using specially selected templates and appropriate music rather than excluding them from Memories altogether. This does rely, however, on the original photos not being offensive in their own right, something which would be much harder for Apple to verify.
Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram