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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:45 AM   #1
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Apple Patent Application on Detecting 'Unauthorized' iOS Device Usage Causes Controversy






An Apple patent application published for the first time last week has been generating some discussion and controversy over exactly what the company intends to or could do with methods to identify "unauthorized" users of iOS devices.

The patent application describes how certain activities performed on a device such as an iPhone could be indicative of "suspicious behavior" that could reveal unauthorized usage of the device. In particular, Apple describes how voice, facial, or heartbeat recognition could be used to confirm whether a user is authorized to have access to a given device. Upon detection of an unauthorized user, the system could limit access to sensitive data stored on the device while working to gather information (photos, voice recording, location, screenshots) on the user in order to determine his or her identity.

Some observers have, however, pointed to another set of methods for unauthorized user detection that could in theory be employed by Apple to exert control over legitimate users' activity on the device. Specifically, Apple suggests that such actions as jailbreaking, unlocking, or SIM card removal could be used to flag users as unauthorized.
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Ignoring the possibility that a false positive in Apple's proposed theft protection might activate the spy cam while the user is in the bath, or in the middle of some other intimate moment, this technology seems Orwellian for another reason: It gives Steve jobs and Co. the means to retaliate when iPhones aren't being used in ways Cupertino doesn't expressly permit.

But remember, it's for your own good.
Others are urging caution over what could be considered overreactions, claiming that Apple is perfectly clear in its intentions for the features.
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Just because Apple could shut down your iPhone if it's "jailbroken" doesn't mean Apple is trying to seize control of your digital life. In fact, if you want to keep control of it, you might actually want Apple to step in.

. . .it's clear what Apple is really doing is scrambling to reassure those running corporate wireless programs - or just paying bills for the household wireless devices - that they're going to be able to secure all those iPhones, iPads, and other gizmos if they get lost or stolen.
Another overlooked factor is Apple's history of inventions disclosed in patent applications, many of which have never made it into shipping products. While Apple does routinely take steps to inconvenience users attempting to perform actions such as jailbreaking of which it does not approve, there are obviously any number of other tactics it could employ to step up its efforts. And while Apple could easily employ more invasive methods, it has shown no apparent interest in doing so, and would obviously face a tremendous public backlash should it do so.

Regardless, this newly-published patent application filed in February 2009 seems to be clearly focused on protecting and finding lost or stolen iOS devices and simply offering up jailbreaking and unlocking as part of a possible suite of clues that together could help assess whether a user is authorized to access the device or not.

Article Link: Apple Patent Application on Detecting 'Unauthorized' iOS Device Usage Causes Controversy
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Apple is the becoming the evil monopolist that Microsoft never was. Apple innovated on making the user experience better, but this effort does not reflect that goal. This is bad news for everyone.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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This is Apple, go after the user so they stay "on the program". Kind of like Scientology. Same thing as seen with monoprice, where apple flexed it's muscle to stop the company from allowing consumers "off the program" merchandize.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Orwellian indeed and EXACTLY the way Steve Jobs like it!

Bless him

Glad I will be missing on all this wonderful iDevice ideas...
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Apple should walk very carefully on this issue. Too many perception issues and inaccurate rumors can spread from this sort of thing.

Apple will be holding "x-gate" press conferences as a regular thing, if not.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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Wow. There must be a tin-foil hat shortage or something.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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I think this is an anti-theft patent, not anti-jailbrake. As much as Apple does not want people to jailbreak, I don't see them remotely bricking jailbroken devices because that would cause a massive class action lawsuit or possibly an angry mob with torches and pickforks knocking on the door of Apple HQ.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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This looks more like an anti-theft system that could be built into mobile-me and find my iPhone. Register your phone as stolen and when the unauthorized user comes along, it restricts the device.

Perhaps!
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:54 AM   #11
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If this is a setting I have control over and the ability to choose what is suspicious then this seems a good feature. As long as I can set it to only report to me when my defined suspicious activity is encountered.

On the other hand if it is just built into the iOS and reports surreptitiously to Apple without my consent then I would never use an iOS device again. There may also be legal issues with flagging jailbroken/unlocked devices since those activities are legal to do on a device you own.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DylanLikesPorn View Post
Apple is the becoming the evil monopolist that Microsoft never was. Apple innovated on making the user experience better, but this effort does not reflect that goal. This is bad news for everyone.
Do you know of Apple stealing anybodies technology? Shutting down businesses by making threats of lawsuits to the businesses investors or claiming they are going to enter into a space and even announcing products that they never intend to ship, just to undermine competitors?

I once had a MSFT employee we were negotiating with sit across the table and say to my face "join us or we will bury you".

It is amazing how, no matter what Apple does-- and this patent is a perfect example--- the Apple bashers will just fabricate something and then claim Apple did it.

I'm glad that in the last 10 years the Mac has become more popular.... but it seems many windows fanbois just aren't giving up, even when they know they've lost.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:56 AM   #13
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This used to be apple


This is now apple.


So now apple is not only dictating what applications that can be sold, they may employ a policy that they will remotely kill an iPhone because it has applications that they have not employed.

Way to go apple, that's one great way to win consumers.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tbrinkma View Post
Wow. There must be a tin-foil hat shortage or something.
Exactly what I was thinking.

Outside of personal use (I'm not getting into that), perhaps this type of technology would be used for businesses to validate the user before they're able to view sensitive data.

Obviously Apple doesn't want people to do certain things, but they're not the big bad evil. If people want to shout "1984", I think Google doing much, much worse...
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by velocityg4 View Post
If this is a setting I have control over and the ability to choose what is suspicious then this seems a good feature. As long as I can set it to only report to me when my defined suspicious activity is encountered.

On the other hand if it is just built into the iOS and reports surreptitiously to Apple without my consent then I would never use an iOS device again. There may also be legal issues with flagging jailbroken/unlocked devices since those activities are legal to do on a device you own.
Well said. Couldn't agree more.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:58 AM   #16
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Apple should walk very carefully on this issue. Too many perception issues and inaccurate rumors can spread from this sort of thing.
Lets call it what it is. It is not "inaccurate rumors" that are the problem, its apple bashers who make up and spread lies.

The entire "antenna gate" was one big lie spread by these people.

They are the hitler youth who thought they had a fascist victory in 1984, but who are not giving up.....
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:59 AM   #17
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Settle down apple, and stop being such commies. We are fine with you being in control if you don't get ridiculous.

Don't make us not like you, please. We want to be happy customers that will defend you.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
So now apple is not only dictating what applications that can be sold, they may employ a policy that they will remotely kill an iPhone because it has applications that they have not employed.

Way to go apple, that's one great way to win consumers.
Don't let the facts get in your way! Just go for it!
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by econgeek View Post
Do you know of Apple stealing anybodies technology? Shutting down businesses by making threats of lawsuits to the businesses investors or claiming they are going to enter into a space and even announcing products that they never intend to ship, just to undermine competitors?

I once had a MSFT employee we were negotiating with sit across the table and say to my face "join us or we will bury you".

It is amazing how, no matter what Apple does-- and this patent is a perfect example--- the Apple bashers will just fabricate something and then claim Apple did it.

I'm glad that in the last 10 years the Mac has become more popular.... but it seems many windows fanbois just aren't giving up, even when they know they've lost.
I've owned exclusively Mac products the last 12 years.
3 PowerMacs, 1 Mac Pro, 1 PowerBook, 2 Apple Tvs and countless iPods. No Windows PC.

I am hardly a Windows fanboy. LOL.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:03 PM   #20
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Absolutely....1984

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Originally Posted by synth3tik View Post
Nineteen Hundred Eighty Four...
Apple has always been a closed system devotee and this has served them well ever since the ipod came out and they dominated market share. They now are doing it at the smart phone level which should not be a big surprise to anyone.
And now, where life imitates art, Apple's 1984 commercial is about....Apple.

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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by econgeek View Post
Lets call it what it is. It is not "inaccurate rumors" that are the problem, its apple bashers who make up and spread lies.

The entire "antenna gate" was one big lie spread by these people.

They are the hitler youth who thought they had a fascist victory in 1984, but who are not giving up.....
Now, THAT was well said, thank you.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:03 PM   #22
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Could someone please sit Steve Jobs down and force him to watch the famous "1984" Macintosh introduction commercial that ran during the Super Bowl? I think he's completely forgotten it.

1984 Super Bowl Commercial

I don't think Jobs has a clue that he's slowly turning into exactly what he so fiercely criticized.

I guess success has tremendous perks, up to and including hypocrisy.



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Originally Posted by entatlrg View Post
Now, THAT was well said, thank you.
Nope, it was dumb and totally fanboish radicalism.

And no antenna-gate was proven real, such that Apple even had to pull its own demos of other cell phones because it was proven they were staged phony videos and Apple legal probably stepped in and tapped Steve Jobs on the shoulder.
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Last edited by HyperZboy; Aug 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:04 PM   #23
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Now, THAT was well said, thank you.
Don't forget MacRumors ran these antenna stories like crazy. They are more than to blame as well.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by econgeek View Post
Do you know of Apple stealing anybodies technology? Shutting down businesses by making threats of lawsuits to the businesses investors or claiming they are going to enter into a space and even announcing products that they never intend to ship, just to undermine competitors?

I once had a MSFT employee we were negotiating with sit across the table and say to my face "join us or we will bury you".

It is amazing how, no matter what Apple does-- and this patent is a perfect example--- the Apple bashers will just fabricate something and then claim Apple did it.

I'm glad that in the last 10 years the Mac has become more popular.... but it seems many windows fanbois just aren't giving up, even when they know they've lost.
*cough* AIM *cough*
*cough* Konfabulator *cough*

I agree to all people who claim that Apple is the Microsoft of the current decade.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:06 PM   #25
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Don't forget MacRumors ran these antenna stories like crazy. They are more than to blame as well.
It's all about hits, traffic and posts. Great stats for advertisers on all websites.
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