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Apple Patent-Pending Allows For Remote iPhone Bricking

by Winston Sih | August 20, 2010August 20, 2010 9:25 am PDT

Apple recently applied for a patent that focuses on stolen phones from users and ways of determining those who stole the device, as well as recovering it.  Slashdot appears to have discovered that those who jailbreak their devices may be trapped as well.

“Apple yesterday applied for patent to allow remotely disabling electronic devices when ‘unauthorized usage’ is detected. The patent application covers using the camera to take pictures of the unauthorized user and using GPS to determine location, and it involves ascertaining whether the phone has been hacked or jailbroken, using that as criteria for detecting ‘suspicious behavior.’ The patent would allow the carrier or any other ‘authorized’ party to disable or restrict the functionality of the device. Is this Apple’s latest tool to thwart jailbreaking?”

While this idea seems good in concept, tech analysts determine that the patent will be rejected as it brings up many controversial privacy concerns as well as the ideas/laws of jailbreak and the validity of them.  Many wonder whether Apple can even restrict activity when one’s device is jailbroken.  How far can Apple go with remote control within a closed platform?

There are obviously many questions to be answered, so don’t expect for this feature to roll into your phone anytime soon.  What do you think?  Does Apple have a right to monitor your device in such ways of taking a photo, noting your geographical position and bricking your device?  Leave a comment below.


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