Chrissy Teigen has just alerted the world to what seems to be a super creepy functionality on the iPhone.
In a Tweet posted yesterday, the celebrity announced that if you go to the photo album on your smartphone, select the search icon and type in 'brassiere' (the formal name for bra), the iPhone will pull up all of the photos which appear to contain boob, cleavage or bra imagery.
Before Chrissy, Twitter user ellieeebwu had originally told women to try the 'brassiere' trick in their photos app to see what comes up. The tweet went viral, with more than 12,000 retweets and 23,000 likes, and users replied saying photos of themselves wearing bikinis, lingerie, and sometimes, well, less than that turned up.
According to The Verge, there's a technical explanation for this. Apple added image recognition to its software when it released iOS 10 in 2016. That means the Photos app can detect what objects are in your photos, but it keeps that data private to your device. Motherboard also notes that iOS 11 added some improvements to artificial intelligence, which may be why people are just noticing this now.
There are lots of keywords that can be detected, and yes, "brassiere" is one of them. But the search function is still not perfect. Teigen tweeted that she mostly was confused about why "brassiere" was an option when other words were not.
Many smartphone users have become worried about what this sort of photo indexing could imply for people who use cloud storage. Might it make it easier for hackers to find sensitive photos?
We attempted to see what other terms the iPhone used for photo indexing. 'Matrimony' appeared to bring up images of people in long pale dresses, which was quite amusing. Luckily, 'vagina' isn't in there - we tried that one - because that would be significantly more creepy.
This isn't unique to iPhones; the Google Photos app on Android devices also has a similar function.
Hearst has reached out to Apple for a comment and we will update this post with their response.