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Alarm raised over Apple 'erotic' app

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

13:25, October 30, 2012

Apple's 'erotic' application. (File Photo)

Parents and lawyers on Sunday urged tech giant Apple to update its Siri service to include a feature that prevents young people from accessing "distasteful" information.

The appeal has come after people in several Chinese cities reported online that the integral application can be used to search for places offering sexual services.

Siri, available for iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and several other Apple products, is an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. The reports are related to the latest version for iOS 6, the first to support the Chinese language.

Tang Hongxin, a criminal lawyer at Yingke Law Firm in Beijing, has been following the debate. He said the information supplied by Siri may not be illegal under Chinese laws and regulations, but can still pose a serious risk to youths.

"We can only believe the information on Siri is accurate and actually points to sex services," he said. "This has not been confirmed by police.

"However, the 'prostitution' addresses on Siri have affected the public order and had a negative influence. In other words, it has the potential of disobeying rules if the software cannot be improved," he said.

Tang suggested the country's supervision administrations should be prepared to intervene if needed.

Wang Xing, a lawyer at Huicheng Law Firm, agreed that the information on Siri poses legal risks and it is urgent for Apple to take technical measures to prevent more similar cases.

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