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.