Wednesday, 01 September 2010 20:36

IS YOUR IPHONE WATCHING YOU?

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Based upon a recently published U.S. patent application assigned to Apple, Inc. it appears that Apple is or has developed technology to do exactly that, under the guise of identifying unauthorized users.
 
Specifically, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0207721 entitled "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device" was published on August 19, 2010 and includes a number of claims which, if implemented, would make Big Brother blush.  The following is a sampling from just some of the claims of this patent application:
 
-         gathering one or more of screenshots, keylogs, communications packets served to the electronic device, and information related to a host device coupled to the electronic device;
 
-         a microphone operable to record the voice of the current user;
 
-         a heartbeat sensor operable to detect the heartbeat of the current user;
 
-         a camera operable to take a photograph of the vicinity of the electronic device; and positioning circuitry operable to determine current location information of the electronic device; and [a] processor … to: geotag the photograph by associating the photograph with the current location information;
 
-         an accelerometer operable to record a vibration profile of the electronic device; and … determine a current mode of transportation of the electronic device;
 
-         a processor operable to … direct the camera to take a photograph of the user;
 
-         the camera is operable to take a plurality of photographs of the surroundings of the electronic device; and [a] processor … to: analyze each of the plurality of photographs to identify distinguishing landmarks in the photographs; and determine the location of each photograph based on the identified distinguishing landmarks.
 
The patent application further discloses means for remotely restrict various functions of the device and/or erase "sensitive" information from the device.
 
CAVEAT EMPTOR [or perhaps, User Beware]!
 
Click here to view the complete text of the published patent application.
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John Fulton, Jr.

Mr. Fulton is a Registered Patent Attorney and Senior Counsel with Malloy & Malloy, P.L., Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law, and rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. His practice includes all aspects of Intellectual Property Law with a focus on patent and trademark prosecution and related transactional matters, and patent infringement litigation. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Cleveland State University, and obtained considerable engineering experience prior to receiving his law degree, with honors, from the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to the Florida Bar, he is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, and the Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eleventh and Federal Circuits. Mr. Fulton also maintains his Registration as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.

Mr. Fulton is an active member of the Florida Bar, and currently serves on the Intellectual Property Law Certification Committee. He is also a member of the Federal Bar and Dade County Bar Associations, and provide Pro Bono services through the DCBA’s Small Claims Clinic and Venture Law Project initiatives. He has served as an Officer and Director of the Inventors Society of South Florida, and regularly provides complimentary “Office Hour” consultations to participants at Venture Café Miami. He has also had the honor to serve as President of his Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Miami Brickell.