There’s a fine line between keeping an eye on your teen and invading their privacy — especially when it comes to their phones.
Gallery Guardian is an app that wants to help you navigate those murky waters by scanning your kids’ phones for any potentially sexual content. It launched in the UK earlier this year and is available today in the US for both iOS and Android.
It uses AI image recognition to detect images on a child’s device that may contain nudity. If it spots something fishy, whether your kid created it or received it, it sends you a real-time alert. It’s a way to monitor what your teen is up to without actually having to have their device in hand.
One interesting twist is that you cannot actually view the picture in question. While that may frustrate some parents, that level of privacy for your kid is intentional. Daniel Skowronski, CEO of YIPO Technologies, which makes the app, said in a statement, “With Gallery Guardian, parents can protect their children while respecting their privacy.”
Instead, it offers you guidelines and resources for talking to your kids about what they’re up to. And given how prevalent sexting is among teens at the moment, it’s good to be able to start that conversation as soon as possible — whether your child is the one taking these pictures or receiving them.
Of course, it’s not a foolproof system. Since there’s no guarantee it will catch every instance, and there are plenty of reasons it’d flag something that wasn’t actually inappropriate — leading to a potentially even more awkward conversation with your kid.
But it’s at least a good start for keeping tabs on your children in a way that’s far less invasive then yanking their phone out of their hand and digging into their digital lives.