image via Motown Records
This one's for those of you that prefer to take their news while wearing a tinfoil hat. Yesterday, Apple filed a patent application. The following is a glimpse inside what this patent actually does:
"A method for identifying an unauthorized user of an electronic device, the method comprising: determining that a current user of the electronic device is an unauthorized user; gathering information related to the unauthorized user's operation of the electronic device in response to determining, wherein the unauthorized user's operation comprises operations not related to the authentication; and transmitting an alert notification to a responsible party in response to gathering."
Sort of a vague overview, dontcha think? There's a couple of ways that this could, in theory, go for us.
The first is delightfully evil, and is put forward by an anonymous source over at Slashdot. You may recall a few weeks ago, the Library of Congress handed down a verdict that legalized jailbreaking. Apple, to say the least, wasn't thrilled with the decision, and vowed that if users were to jailbreak their gear, their warranties would be nullified. Currently, should your jailbroken iPhone go off the rails, all one would need to do is restore it to its original factory settings via iTunes and waltz into an Apple Store for repairs, with no one able to tell that you'd been rocking a jailbroken handset. What's described above could go a long way towards making such a practice a thing of the past. The technology described in the patent could implement changes to iOS that allow users who opt to jailbreak their devices to be identified and disallowed from accessing the platform. Admittedly, that's some pretty deep Big Brother level stuff. But of course, Apple has more benign plans for the technology.
The patent's filing could also be used to describe possible solutions to curbing the use of stolen iOS devices. The tech types over at Ars Technica speculate that the same patent could also be used to allow Apple devices a way in which to differentiate unauthorized users who have, for example, taken an iPhone without permission. The smartphone could tell, through the use of camera isometrics, heartbeat or voice print analysis, whether the phone had been snagged by someone other than its owner. If the smartphone twigged to the fact that it had indeed been lifted by a set of light fingers, it could then email pictures of the individual, as well as possibly send out GPS coordinates and other useful information concerning where that individual could be found.
What's your opinion readers? Is Apple out to track down all of us no good jailbreakers expressing our legally protected right to tinker with our iOS hardware, or do they intend to make Find My iPhone just that much more useful to those that choose to rely on it? The comment lines are open. Whether it's consipracy theory or the voice of reason, we want to hear from you!