Porn Industry to Sit on Apple's FaceTime?

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I've got to hand it to the porn industry: the people in charge are pretty damn good at keeping their fingers on the pulse of mobile tech (there's a pun in there, I just know it).  Back in the '70s, the demand for dirty vids helped push VCR sales forward, and the same thing happened when DVDs started to make it big. Oh, and lets not forget who was among the first to embrace online video streaming and credit card payments.

It should come to no surprise, then, that various porn peddlers are ramping up some brand-new video-sex chat services designed exclusively for the iPhone 4's celebrated FaceTime feature. Need a visual? Here's the idea: you've got an iPhone 4, a sexy girl (or guy) somewhere not in your location has an iPhone 4. After paying the predetermined fee, it's FaceTime...er, time. You can see her, she can see you. I'll let your imagination wander from there. Not a bad market to tap, porn industry; at the moment, there's more than 3 million iPhone 4 users out there, and I'm sure plenty of them might be interested in a service like this. How's $5 a minute sound?

As reported in the Huffington Post, there are active Craigslist ads in at least five U.S. cites that are seeking models exclusively for video sex on FaceTime. Heck, it appears some of them even get a free iPhone 4 just for coming on board.This  creates an interesting conundrum for Apple, who is notorious for keeping its App Store as squeaky clean as possible (the Chatroulette app didn't last too long, did it?). And while developers occasionally find loopholes for downloading sexy pics and whatnot over AT&T's glorious 3G network, Steve & Co. are quick to pull the plug on such apps once they figure out they've been hoodwinked  (4Chan's app is a pretty good example).

What's not clear is whether Apple could or would limit what iPhone 4 owners can do with FaceTime. It might not be able to block the numbers you can call, but since FaceTime is Apple's service it could certainly choose to disable the feature from working with certain numbers that have been associated with porn services.

As you might expect, parental watchdog groups are up in arms over these developments. They're worried, apparently, that FaceTime could connect children to pornography or sexual predators. Allow me to offer a simple retort: how many parents out there are giving their tweens an iPhone 4 in the first place? Probably the same ones who are giving them access to credit cards, and if that's the case, they're literally just begging for trouble. I doubt many of you have forgotten the whole "sexting" phenomenon that is currently sweeping the nation, and FaceTime has the potential to really kick that trend up a notch. What's your stance on that, Enough is Enough? Wait, I've got it! Don't buy your 12-year-old an iPhone 4.

I'm certainly intrigued to see how this all plays out, but I'd argue that if history has taught us anything, it's that porn finds a way. Kind of like Jurassic Park, but with nudity.

Have any parental tips for responsible iPhone 4 use? Do you think Apple should find a way to activate parental controls for FaceTime? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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