Apple has filed a patent for technology designed to detect unauthorised users of iPhones, lock the device down and even notify the user of its location if stolen.
The patent, titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorised Users of an Electronic Device” was filed in February but published this week.
It describes a means to identify the “hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking or removal of a SIM”.
“In particular, systems and methods for detecting an unauthorised user, gathering information related to the electronic device, the unauthorised user, or both, and transmitting an alert notification to a responsible party for the electronic device are provided,” it read.
Such systems include taking photos of the phones location and unauthorised user without their knowledge, recording that user’s voice and even heart beat. The "responsible party" can then be alerted via text, instant message, VoIP, social networking sites and other methods.
“Instead or in addition, when an unauthorised user is detected, various functions of the electronic device can be restricted,” the filing noted.
“For example, access to particular applications can be restricted, access to sensitive information can be restricted, sensitive information can be erased from the electronic device, or any combination of the above.”
The patent also seeks to identify jailbreaking of the device, saying it is a possible indicator of an unauthorised user. However, some may see this as another attempt by Apple to exert more control over how its products are used.
It has been frustrated in this by lawmakers in the US. The US Copyright Office's Librarian of Congress last month made it legal for users to jailbreak their phones.
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