Sunday, August 28, 2016

Apple iPhones To Solve Their Own Theft?

A nightmare for thieves and data protectionists alike?

Apple has applied for another patent on August 26 (see it HERE) that would allow them to capture information about a user as soon as they suspect unauthorized use.
Apple iPhone Patent Theft

The patent "Biometric Capture for unauthorized User Identification" might allow your phone to solve its own theft.

Information that could be collected, uploaded to a server and used to identify the unauthorized user:

  • Fingerprints
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Heart rate and data from the motion sensor
Apparently, the current user would not be alarmed. I suspect that you would notice that your battery life seems shorter and that the temperature of the phone goes up - as a thieve you don´t have an opportunity to compare. 

Qualification of "unauthorized use"

To form an educated opinion on that subject, it would be important to have more information. I don´t know about you; I can act very suspicious at times. Just recently I had an incident with super glue. It got stuck to my finger, and when I pulled it off and lost one or a few outer skin layers, my phone did not recognize the fingerprint for a few days.

I have assigned prints of three of my fingers to the phone (optimized for lazy, busy, and normal situations) so that accessing it without typing in the code has not been an issue.

Naturally, I kept forgetting that the main operator of my phone, my right index finger, was out of service for a few days.

Wow, so Apple would start recording audio, make films of me, etc.?  Hey, I´m not dressed!

Would they start collecting data after the first failed attempt? After the 5th? Or if my heart races faster than usual? How about, as a preventative measure, they take pictures of me every 20 minutes and look if I´m still me?

What if the first thing a thieve does without every attempting to access the phone is jail-hacking it and installing a new version of iOS? I´m not a hacker (HELL, NO!) or a phone expert, but I trust you get my point.

Would that mean that only the honest but forgetful owner of my phone, lovely me, will be spied on?

Can government agencies gain access to this information if I don´t pay child support? How about the FBI if I post one youtube "terrorist prank" video too much? Do they need Apple´s approval to access data or do they have their own ways?

When will the data be deleted? When will it be hacked for the first time and what will it sell for on the dark web?

Will they corporate with Pokemon hunters? (Oh, wait, Google + Apple = not best friends).

My opinion

It´s easy for me to say because I have never lost a phone or had one stolen. I understand that this is costly and annoying. Many people have a very emotional connection to their phones.

Security always comes with a price. Security measures always come with a downside. Every piece of data that is stored anywhere will be hacked at some point.

The currency to pay for this feature is freedom.

Sorry, I can´t afford it.

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