While many of these changes are welcome as they offer greater privacy protections, there are a few features that could amplify risks to children and young people using iOS 15.
The largest risk is shareability of FaceTime’s newest features. If someone shares a private link to a FaceTime call on a public platform, it could evolve into a game of “chat roulette” with strangers or “online friends.” This is similar to platforms like Omegle and Monkey, which our online safety team have flagged as dangerous platforms for children and young people to engage with. As FaceTime is an app centric to Apple devices, it might be easier for a young person to hide who is contacting them. There is also the risk of SharePlay over FaceTime. Children and young people could be exposed to age-inappropriate material by others. It’s important to note that someone else in the call could also capture a video or image (through screen-recording or a third device) of your child or young person reacting to inappropriate or potential illegal content, then widely share it without consent. This could cause serious harm to your child or young person, especially if it is incriminating.
Another risk comes with the ability to share private health tracking data with others. A young person may inadvertently share this personal information without understanding what they are releasing. Once personal information is shared over digital messaging, it is very difficult to regain control.