Not long ago, a viral tweet by @ellieeewbu raised an alarm about the iPhone’s photo categorization feature. If you go to your phone’s gallery, you might be surprised to see a folder called “brassiere”. In this era where technology is getting better and better every day, users have started questioning whether their devices know them too well. Soon after the tweet, John Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen posted a screenshot of her own “brassiere” folder, full of boobs and bras on Twiter. This smart feature is certainly raising few eyebrows.
ATTENTION ALL GIRLS ALL GIRLS!!! Go to your photos and type in the ‘Brassiere’ why are apple saving these and made it a folder!!?!!?😱😱😱😱
— ell (@ellieeewbu) October 30, 2017
It’s true. If u type in “brassiere” in the search of your iphotos, it has a category for every boob or cleavage pic you’ve ever taken. Why. pic.twitter.com/KWWmJoRneJ
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 31, 2017
Many iPhone users have discovered that if they type the word ‘brassiere’ in the search bar of their phone’s gallery, they will find seflies where cleavage is visible. While people being concerned about their privacy is completely understandable, Apple says that the feature is actually not new and in reality, it’s pretty useful.
Apple Photos uses computer vision technology to group pictures under categories for a while now. All for the reason, people to find their photos right away instead of scrolling through their entire photo library. It’s a technology that’s been around since iOS 10.
Apple developer Kenny Yin posted a list of 4432 recognized scenes and objects in 2016 and of course, “brassiere” is one of them. Just open the Photos app, click on the magnifying glass and type anything even just a letter. If you type A you can get categories including “art” “automobile” “amusement park”. The same goes for another letter, type B and you might see categories such as “birthday” or “bar”. However, don’t expected to be always perfect. Sometime the computer vision will make mistakes and won’t categories photos correctly.
Remember, no matter how your phone categories your photos Apple does not have access to them. According to Apple’s support page, “all of the face recognition and scene and object detection are done completely on your device.” The Verge, however, points out one concerning element of this whole categorization process. They want to know why there are no male-male equivalents; no “boxers” or “briefs” folders as counterparts to “brassiere.” That’s an interesting question for sure.