Apple has applied for a new patent which covers a series of measures to protect iPhone users from thieves and unauthorized users. Using the technology in the patent titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device”, Apple can identify users based on their images, voice recording and even their unique heartbeat patterns. If any of these don’t match, the user can be flagged as an unauthorized user and the iPhone’s camera can be activated, the captured images can be geotagged and sent to a remote server. It can also log keystrokes and phone calls and send it back to the remote server.
All the sensitive data of the user can also be backed up to a remote server and then deleted remotely, once unauthorized access is detected.
What’s alarming about the patent is that some of the methods it uses to identify unauthorized access include hacking, jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone. Jailbreaking the iPhone allows you to gain full access to the file system and run any code you want, as opposed to apps approved by Apple only. Using the technology described in the patent, Apple could automatically disable jailbroken or unlocked iPhones citing unauthorized usage.
Jailbreaking and Unlocking were recently declared to be legal by the regulators in the United States.
Check out the complete patent filing here: USPTO