Child porn found on an iPhone application

An iPhone application named BeautyMeter, approved by Apple, has been reported by Wired.com to contain child pornography.

The application allows users to upload pictures of themselves and have them rated by other iPhone users in a rating system similar to hotornot.com.

BeautyMeter demonstrates the flaws in Apple's safeguards that now allow nudity on their applications for those 18 years or older, using developer maintained servers. The image in question shows a girl from the United States, aged just 15 years old taking a picture of herself standing in the reflection of a mirror, almost completely naked. The image has been edited and censored by wired.com to prevent distribution of child pornography.

Once aware of the problem, Apple removed the application from its AppStore but not before nearly 5,000 users rated the image. The application was removed because of the image, stating that the application was in violation of the terms in the iPhone developer program.

BeautyMeter takes users iPhone device ID number when installed, allowing the developers to trace the owner of the content. Users can be banned or tracked down by their device ID.

BeautyMeters web site, hosted at funnymals.com, states in its terms and conditions that "you may not place any insults, obscene statements, or pornographic material on this site or any other materials which may offend human dignity" and "we don't review each uploaded photo exclusively but from time to time we will clean up."

This case demonstrates Apple's inability to control adult content after the application has been approved. Apple can not protect against the content if it is not present during the approval stage.

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