Every day the smart phone market has something new to say, new to report, or more information to retort. For instance, now Apple is upping the ante on their control over the smart phones they sell, and has decided to apply for a few new patents. Yes, this is all typical in Apple Style, and yet, one of those patents is very telling to us at our Internet style Think Tank, as we are constantly remunerating about such things.
Great article on August 20, 2010 in ARS Technica entitled; “Apple May Be Looking to Lock Out Unauthorized iOS Users,” by Chris Foresman who reported that Apple filed a patent titled; “Systems and Methods for Identifying Users of an Electronic Device,” such as heartbeat analysis, photo, voice print, and suspicious behavior uncommon to the known user.
So, I guess a thief who has stolen the phone would then be giving away his/her picture, voice print, keystrokes, and Global Position (location). The patent appears to also be able to turn off phone, erase hard-drive, and download all information to the “cloud” which is to protect the user. Yes, very nice, but with this technology, the authorities could also shut-it-down if the individual was suspected of being a bad guy, rioter, terrorist, etc. too.
Now then some folks at Slash-Dot ask, well would this also allow Apple to shut off those who “jail-break” from Apple’s proprietary software? A great question posed by SoulSkill (screen name). A very good question, and inquiring minds, like mine want to know. But I also suspect that by having this feature, it means that the US Army would be interested in this for our “Blue Force” tracking in the Net Centric or rather Ad Hoc networked battlespace too. See that point.
If an enemy gets a hold of one of their mobile devices, boom! – it is shut off and we have a picture of the enemy’s camp, and what questions are asked, and the position of the soldier or device? Wow, now that is what I call using privileged information during interrogation. It also helps Apple sell its devices to the US Government over competitors like Motorola, Nokia, HTC, Google, and Blackberry too.
Unfortunately, this will totally fuel new conspiracy theories and NSA fringe seekers living in old cold war missile silos waiting for the apocalypse or Terminator’s SkyNet to take over? Is this more big brother, or just upping the stakes in the world of personal tech, and government, military security for communication devices? You decide, I’ve already decided for myself.