BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Recent, highly profiled events in Colorado have sparked parents across the country to take action, monitoring their kids’ cellphones to make sure they are not taking part in “sexting.”
Parents took note now that students, who were caught collecting and trading nude pictures with each other at a school in Colorado, could face felony child pornography charges.
This sexting trend has become much easier to do today, through the use of so-called photo vault apps, which disguise themselves as regular apps, but allow users to store whatever media they like.
For example, one app disguises itself as a working calculator but can be used to stash sexting files once a code is punched in.
“It’s degrading, it’s terrible,” 11th grader Ryan Neydavood said. “It’s not cool for the person who has the picture and for the person who the picture is taken of.”
Neydavood witnessed the repercussions of sexting first-hand, when he says a friend at school was recently busted for taking part.
“I warned him. Others warned him. You know it’s not good. Delete it. It’s not something to be proud of, and he was caught and it’s embarrassing.”
Legal experts say that while what is sent from one phone can be shared on countless devices, there is no law in the country that allows victims to have what’s been posted pulled off the Internet.
“That’s certainly a concern,” USC Law School Professor Valerie Barriero stated. “Letting individuals know that they might not be able to control the dissemination of information so they need to be the first safeguard.”
Parents like Lary Gold have started having their child walk them through what is on their phone on a regular basis.
“I wouldn’t say I review every single app, but I’m mindful of what he’s doing and what he’s doing with his phone,” Gold said.
Despite the rise in recent trends, many youngsters, such as Zoe Bertet, say that having a phone is a privilege — one they would rather not mishandle.
“My parents thought very hard on my having a phone, and I might as well respect their decision,” Bertet said.