Apple Patenting Technology To Spy On Device Users

indexYour iPod might be looking and listening right back at you — Apple is patenting creepy spyware that would “fight theft” and product misuse by enabling Apple devices to take photos of users, record users’ voices, and even detect and record users’ heartbeats, and transfer the data back to Apple. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:

Essentially, Apple’s patent provides for a device to investigate a user’s identity, ostensibly to determine if and when that user is “unauthorized,” or, in other words, stolen. More specifically, the technology would allow Apple to record the voice of the device’s user, take a photo of the device’s user’s current location or even detect and record the heartbeat of the device’s user.

This patented device enables Apple to secretly collect, store and potentially use sensitive biometric information about you. This is dangerous in two ways: First, it is far more than what is needed just to protect you against a lost or stolen phone. It’s extremely privacy-invasive and it puts you at great risk if Apple’s data on you are compromised. But it’s not only the biometric data that are a concern. Second, Apple’s technology includes various types of usage monitoring — also very privacy-invasive. This patented process could be used to retaliate against you if you jailbreak or tinker with your device in ways that Apple views as “unauthorized” even if it is perfectly legal under copyright law.

19 Comments on "Apple Patenting Technology To Spy On Device Users"

  1. E.B. Wolf | Aug 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm |

    Makes me glad I still stick with those bulky, obsolete CDs

    • loungelizard | Aug 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm |

      Cheap mp3 and mp4 player manufacturers will never have the money to put this software in their devices. Apple will be slitting their own throats with this stupid idea.

  2. It's already possible for the FBI, given a warrant, to turn on your cellphone mic and listen.

    • I saw a documentary a few years ago where this “hacker” showed how he could access most online users and monitor what they were doing online. He also turned on their webcam, and showed he had access to the entire harddrive.
      Lucky HE didn't work for the government

  3. mind-theft | Aug 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm |

    the patent was already filed February 19, 2009!
    my iphone did a “hidden” sound-record not so long ago… and ithought there was no such feature available… what a surprise!

  4. Yay! My many years of not using any Apple products suddenly pays off!

  5. So THAT'S what page 45 of the privacy policy was all about.

  6. dextronaut | Aug 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm |

    I remember the days of something called passwords.

    Ah the good old days.

  7. I tried to share this on Facebook, I was blocked from doing so… Interesting…

    • loungelizard | Sep 1, 2010 at 6:01 am |

      Cut and paste the URL instead of clicking the lazy button, 🙂

      Worked for me like that.

  8. loungelizard | Sep 1, 2010 at 11:01 am |

    Cut and paste the URL instead of clicking the lazy button, 🙂

    Worked for me like that.

  9. this should be illegal, what right do they have to take pictures of you, and record you. i remember apple used to make out that microsoft were evil and apple were angels. shows they’re just the same if not worse at this stage

  10. this should be illegal, what right do they have to take pictures of you, and record you. i remember apple used to make out that microsoft were evil and apple were angels. shows they’re just the same if not worse at this stage

  11. Hoiler456 | Oct 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm |

    what happenes if u sell your device on?

  12. Hoiler456 | Oct 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |

    what happenes if u sell your device on?

  13. thanks for the post, i like it and i add my bookmark, thank you very much

  14. thanks for the post, i like it and i add my bookmark, thank you very much

Comments are closed.