Yes, Apple has been categorizing all of your ‘brassiere’ photos for over a year now

“A tweet by user ellieeewbu today revealed that searching ‘brassiere’ in the Photos app on iPhones categorizes photos featuring bras automatically into a group. Women have been responding to the tweet posting screenshots with similar results,” Dami Lee reports for The Verge.

Lee reports, “Most searches show photos of lingerie, bikinis, bare skin, or in some cases, memes.”

“Should the fact that ‘brassiere’ is a category at all be concerning?” Lee writes. “Or is it more alarming that most people didn’t know that image categorization was a feature at all?”

MacDailyNews Take: We love hysterical tweets about things that everybody else has known about for well over a year (everybody else who’s been paying attention).

“Image recognition was introduced with iOS 10 in June 2016, when the Photos app was updated with deep learning for object and scene detection,” Lee reports. “Apple stressed during the keynote, as well as on its website, that all object detection is done completely locally on the device.”

“In a Medium post, developer Kenny Yin detailed all of the facial expressions and objects the Photos app recognized… a total of 4,432 keywords, ‘brassiere’ included,” Lee reports. “One thing to note here is that while women’s undergarments like ‘bra’ are listed as categories, there’s no mention of men’s boxers or briefs. Clearly someone had to have made a conscious decision to include (or not include) certain categories.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s technology is designed to keep your photos private.

One of the best things about Photos is how it protects your privacy. iOS is designed to take advantage of the powerful processor built into every iPhone and iPad. So when you search your photos, for instance, all the face recognition and scene and object detection are done completely on your device. Which means your photos are yours and yours alone. — Apple Inc.

Google Android’s, however, is a far different story, as Lee notes: “Google Photos does the exact same thing when you search ‘brassiere,’ except your photos are stored on the cloud, in Google’s servers. If anything, this should be the bigger security concern that’s freaking out people on Twitter.”

Here’s Apple’s Craig Federighi introducing the feature back in June 2016 at WWDC 2016:


  1. This could be the start of an interesting (or possibly only interesting if drunk) party game, sort of like asking Siri weird stuff or seeing what people iPhoto thinks might be your face.. You could Airplay people’s photo libraries and search for different categories to see what pops up. If the image recognition function is really good, then the results will be boring (if more useful).

  2. People need to learn the difference between what is publicly available and what is stored locally (unless you use Google apps, Android, or MS Windows, in which case the two things may be effectively the same!

    People are way too eager to find or manufacture reasons to get riled up, and most of them are incredibly ridiculous.

  3. I searched for ‘pussy’ and got a funny cat picture I saved a year ago…

    I did want to show my damaged loudspeaker to a friend and found my picture in the loudspeaker search.

    Typing ‘food’ I got over 300 pictures my wife took…

  4. Of course, there were also those women that typed brassiere and got 0 results. BECAUSE THEY DON’T TAKE PICTURES OF THEMSELVES IN THEIR UNDERWEAR!!

    I typed “tree” and got pictures of OAK TREES!!! WTH APPLE!! Why would you make my arboreal fetish known to the whole… umm, me?

    1. Not unless you’ve created the group yourself. For whatever reason, of the 4000+ default categories, there are no “boxers”, “briefs” or any related male type underwear.

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