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Apple Patent Outlines a System To Track Users

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Adam Dickter
Top Tech News
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apple has filed for a patent to track unauthorized users of an iPhone. But the system could also be used to track authorized iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Apple’s patent application attracted the most attention for a provision that would alert Apple to jailbreaking. With mobile devices collecting user information, privacy is a concern.

Future versions of Apple’s iPhone may come equipped with the smartphone version of a LoJack car-recovery Relevant Products/Services system, a patent application filed by the computer giant suggests. The application details a system that can take photos of an unauthorized user, pinpoint his or her location, or even detect the user’s heartbeat patterns after the phone owner reports it lost or stolen.

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The technology Relevant Products/Services, which can also be applied to Wi-Fi-equipped iPods and iPads, could notify Apple or the user if the SIM card is removed or if multiple failed log-ins occur.

The Aug. 19 application drew notice in the tech media for its reference to jailbreaking — the process of owners modifying an iPhone to run applications not approved by Apple — as one of the red flags triggering remote action. But while the system might alert Apple if an iPhone has been jailbroken, there’s not much the company can do about it.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:28 am

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