Apple patent could remotely disable protesters phone cameras

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by mentaluproar, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #1
    http://www.zdnet.com/apple-patent-could-remotely-disable-protesters-phone-cameras-7000003640/

    I'm a little curious as to why MacRumors hasn't jumped onto this already.

    While part of me hopes Apple just wants to squat on this patent to keep others from using it, the other part knows better. I think I'm moving to Android after all.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #2
  3. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN
    #3
    It's 11 months old and very scare mongering since they basically claim things can happen without any proof. They just say "well it could be abused by an oppressive government" which is just handwaving.

    Think about it, that would only work in a world where nobody used Android, Windows Phone, or any other camera phone or device that would not have this feature (of which there is no proof it's being implemented). If a totalitarian regimen would want to use this, I don't think they would target a device class with a 15% market share and go through a ton of effort on the off chance that someone isn't carrying something that can take a picture that isn't an iDevice.

    Any oppressive government that wanted suppress the population simply wouldn't bother with this technique - heck even shutting down cellular networks doesn't stop people from getting information out. World leaders know this.
     
  4. macrumors G5

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    I doubt they'd sink this low... but hey! It's Apple... PRISM
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Kissaragi

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #5
    All "could be's" and "maybe's". The author needs to get back to making his tin foil hats and stop trying to find conspiracies everywhere.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    That article is just completely misunderstanding what this patent is about.

    It doesn't allow anyone to disable the camera on your phone against your wishes. It is for people working at companies that have restricted areas where cameras are not allowed. No cameras allowed means you have to hand over your phone before you enter these areas, or get into bad trouble (like getting fired) if you enter these areas with a camera phone.

    Now with this patent, you could tell your iPhone to turn the camera off in certain areas of your company, and as a result, you can carry it around and use it wherever you go. Notice that nothing happens unless _you_ give permission.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #7
    I can tell the camera to turn off via geofence? I doubt this will be optional.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    macs4nw

    #8
    Unfortunately, the genie is out of the bottle. This is technology with the potential of abuse. If the powers that be, decide that this is desirable technology for authorities to have at their disposal, a feature like this or similar to this, will be mandated and implemented on all cellphones' cameras.

    Moving to Android, or WP for that matter, won't do you any good.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #9
    Patent or not wouldn't it still be up to the employer to allow or ban the device in the workplace?
     
  10. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    iPhones are _useful_ in the workplace, so banning them completely doesn't help the company. The ability to use them everywhere except in some small part of the company would be useful.

    ----------

    Just what justification would be given for this?
     
  11. macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    But wouldn’t switching it onto Airplane mode disable the phone’s ability to know where it is (and thus it won’t know when to switch off the camera)?
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    macs4nw

    #12
    I don't have the answer to that, but if this is desirable technology to have, for the government or law enforcement, it will be shoved down our collective throats, and 'spun' something along the lines of it being for the common good, or 'for our protection'.

    I mean we weren't asked if we desired the Patriot Act, or it's 2011 Sunsets Extension Act. And we certainly weren't informed about the clandestine activities of 'Prism'. My point being that our government isn't always as up-front with their motives, as we'd like them to be.

    Ps. didn't get a quote notification for your post; just happened to catch it.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Kissaragi

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #13
    Your not allowed to think logically about conspiracies I'm afraid.
     
  14. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #14
    Try to ignore the rather stupid post of the thread starter, and look at what this feature is used for: You are in a place, for example your work place, where you are not allowed to take photos in certain areas. Therefore, phones capable of taking photos (most smartphones) are not allowed. Your phone is set up so that it will detect when it is in a prohibited area and not take photos in these areas, and therefore you are allowed to use your phone. That's the price of being allowed to use your phone at all. If your employer checks and sees that you have turned this feature off while at work then you will be fired.

    Obviously if your phone cannot detect where it is then it will also not take any photos. Anything else wouldn't make sense.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    #15
    Also - as far as airplane mode is concerned it could just be a constant signal on the plane too, so as soon as you try and move it out of that mode it just switches straight back. Once you are off the plane the other side the suppression code is not present, so turning it off airplane mode works as expected.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #16
    when i was in the navy I was a pilot in the intelligence community. the building had no windows, and we left ALL electronic devices at the door, ALL including phones, cameras (didn't have both together then), pagers, and some watches.

    If an employer doesn't want pictures taken, ban all the devices. If you don't like it work elsewhere.

    the potential for gov abuse is off the chart imho.
     
  17. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #17
    Of course. Government abuse of a feature that _the user_ has to turn on to make it work. Guys, think about what you are writing. It's Ok to be paranoid, but not to be paranoid and stupid, getting all excited about problems that only exist in the imagination of bloggers who don't understand the subject, and ignoring real problems because of that.

    Your comment "if you don't like it, work elsewhere" is just stupid. Apart from what seems to be a typical American attitude that doesn't give a **** about people, employees having electronic devices benefits the employer. I would quite happily give up access to any electronic devices at work, as long as my employer agrees to continue paying my salary. Not that much useful work would get done.

    ----------

    This wasn't about using a phone on an airplane. It was about switching a phone into "airplane" mode, which you can do everywhere: On an airplane, in your car, or even at home in your living room or while at work.
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #18
    Awesome comment, I feel so bad now. Thank goodness we have your intellect to save us.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #19
    That can't be right. If the user needs to tell the camera to be inactive in certain areas what's to keep the user honest? As long as it's something the user needs to select he can simply forget to do so.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #20
    You are an employee at some company. The company has a restricted area. You are allowed into that area, but not with a camera. Including an iPhone with a camera. This invention (which isn't implemented anywhere) would allow you to set up your phone so the camera won't work in that area, and you are therefore allowed to take your phone in.

    What keeps you honest? The fact that if you are caught in that area with your phone capable of taking photos, security guards will accompany you back to your desk, where you collect your belongings into a box provided for you, before they take away the card that gives you access to the buildings and push you through the door, never to return.

    ----------

    You're welcome.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #21
    What I thought. From a security perspective, how is "if you are caught in that area with your phone capable of taking photos...bad stuff happens" any better than "if you are caught taking photos with your phone in that area…bad stuff happens?" The only way this patent enhances security is in conjunction with an on-site check to insure all phones are set in the camera disabled mode, and even then there is only a security benefit if the user could not re-enable the camera. If the user can re-enable the camera then the preceding scenario is actually less secure, as it would give the security force extra work with no payoff.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #22
    Along with that Geofencing or whatever it is that makes this work it needs to be very accurate. If I'm in a building or room next to you then it is your responsibility to make sure that it doesn't affect my device also.

    This though is just the thin end of the wedge. I need to have my device know where I am to be able to take a photo, really?
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #23
    I agree. Seems whacky. Your device would then become they eye of whomever could hack into it. Although I'm not engaged in any criminal or seditious activity this makes me feel personally uncomfortable. After a while, with any luck, I'll become desensitized to this kind of thing.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Location:
    In my own world
    #24
    I really wish this would happen. I would love to be able to disable phones in classes.

    Problem is that it would only be apple devices. Not a wide enough spread to take care of the problems.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    needfx

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    macrumors apparently
    #25
    apple is in the process of revolutionising revolutions
     

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