Apple’s ‘Unauthorized users’ patent stirs controversy | iLounge News

Apple’s ‘Unauthorized users’ patent stirs controversy

A newly published Apple patent application has led to reports that the company will use a new unauthorized user recognition technology to deter users from jailbreaking iPhones. The patent application, entitled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” primarily describes methods for detecting unauthorized users—people who do not normally use the device—and taking appropriate action, such as relaying information about the unauthorized user’s identity and location to the device’s owner, restricting functions, or deleting sensitive data. The controversy stems from references in the application to jailbreaking and/or unlocking the device, both of which it describes as “activities that can indicate suspicious behavior.” In July, the U.S. Library of Congress’ Copyright Office announced a decision under which jailbreaking was deemed legal and within the user’s fair use rights, which might conceivably limit Apple’s ability to discriminate against users with jailbroken devices. However, it’s unclear as to whether Apple is patenting this invention in the hopes of actually locking out users for its own purposes, deterring certain uses of its devices, or merely empowering owners to protect their own items as they wish. As with all Apple patent applications, the filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area.

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An iPad is my first and LAST Apple product…. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great toy, but Steve Jobs is an @$$.  Get over yourself already. Make flash work and make a non-carrier version available at full price.  If I want the iPhone and want to run it on a reliable network, then I pay apple extra $‘s.  The combined non-flash, arrogance, and crappy carrier doesn’t make me envy the iPhone users, it makes me feel sorry for them.


Posted by TN_Mtn_Man on August 23, 2010 at 9:11 PM (CDT)


Let us not jump to any conclusions about Apple’s motives just yet. Being someone who just had my not even two month old iPhone 4 stolen just yesterday, I am very intrigued by this patent.  It would be wonderful if Apple was able to do more about stolen phones.  As of now, I can tell you they do not do much, nor does At&T even though technically they can.  And before you say it, Mobile Me has its limits.

Anyone out there willing to help out someone they dont even know replace their stolen iphone 4? ;-)

Posted by miles po on August 24, 2010 at 2:25 AM (CDT)


Motorola already successfully blocks jailbreaking on the Droid and Droid 2 by encrypting virtually all of the firmware.

Apple should adopt this strategy as well.

And, Apple can make each of its apps dependent on verifying encryption on firmware so that hackers have an extremely difficult time creating jailbreaks.

Posted by James Katt on August 24, 2010 at 2:36 AM (CDT)


@ TN_Mtn_Man:
What you want simply does not exist. Even if Apple sold you a completely untethered iPhone, it would not work on any carrier you so choose. The technologies are different. Even though you can put a jailbroken iPhone on T-Mobile, it lacks many of the functions that an AT&T iPhone has. The phone was designed to work on AT&T specifically. That was part of the deal Apple had to make to get into the phone business. They needed a heavy-hitting carrier partner to launch, what they hoped would be, a groundbreaking device. AT&T was THE heavy-hitter at that time. Now that the original agreement/exclusivity deal is coming to an end, there are waves of rumors about a Verizon and/or Sprint iPhone on the horizon. But just you wait and see. Whatevere carrier gets the iPhone next will see the same drop in network reliability. AT&T was not ready for that flood of smartphone/data users. Verizon will see serious hits and Sprint could buckle under that weight.

As for Flash…that is a dead issue. It will not happen. And I applaud it. Flash is a resource hog. Flash developers have been putting out garbage for years. Now the net is filled with that junk. I would rather hit an occasional Flash site and make note to check it from my laptop than to deal with the drain all the Flash adds and pages would put on my phone. I have seen Flash run on a few Android phones. It showed me that it was a massive battery hog and locked-up the phone on 3 occasions. Froyo and the pending Mobile Flash say that this will be corrected. But, Froyo is not even shipping on the newest devices and Mobile Flash is not a final release yet. Flash just is not important enough to have to deal with all of that. Content providers are already jumping onto the HTML 5 wave. It will be a non-issue soon enough.

With all that said, Apple has made it’s mistakes. The antenna issue should have been a footnote. And it would have been if Apple had owned up immediately and offered these cases. It was their arrogance that caused the most uproar. And then there is the random way they seem to evaluate apps for the App Store. That is a broken process. An app that works the same as a native app…but possibly better…should get the chance to sell. If it does not degrade the phones functionality, it should be admitted. I think adult content/porn should be regulated to an age verified adult App Store. But it should not be banned. Find a way to control it and then make it available to consenting adults. It can not be that hard to do.

Posted by Mitch on August 24, 2010 at 8:11 AM (CDT)


I bet this has to do with enterprise and business deployments much more than consumer apps.

Posted by josh on August 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM (CDT)


It seems to me that the patent refer’s to the device’s owner, which would be me for instance. If Apple comes up with a way for me to remotely locate and/or brick an iPhone that was stolen from me I’m all for it.

Posted by Scooter on August 24, 2010 at 2:27 PM (CDT)


yeah, i got that too Scooter.  I think this has more to do w/ remotely wiping your data if your phone is stolen.. i am 100% for that. 

That is the kind of thing they are SUPPOSED to be focused on.. not on how a small minority of users decide to use a product that they paid for and is theirs to use how they please.

Posted by crash613 on August 24, 2010 at 6:28 PM (CDT)

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