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Apple Wants to Spy on You All Hi-Tech-Like

Here I am, seriously considering switching from a BlackBerry to an iPhone when my contract runs out next week, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has to go and ruin it for me.

Spy On the EFF Deeplinks blog yesterday, Julie Samuels posted about Apple's patent application for technology, which Samuels dubs "traitorware," that will enable Apple to "secretly collect, store and potentially use sensitive biometric information about you."

The details are sort of frightening.  The patent application is entitled "SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR IDENTIFYING UNAUTHORIZED USERS OF AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE." But if Samuels is correct, such an invention would not be so limited. The technology will allow Apple to remotely, and without detection, capture an image of a user's face, the user's voice and a unique "heartbeat signature." It would also be possible to capture photos of the location where the phone is being used, and monitor or record essentially all usage of the device.

Basically, it sounds like when you let the guy from your information technology department "remote in" to your PC to fix some issue with your Word macros. Except it's not the IT guy, but Steve Jobs. And you have no idea he happens to be listening and watching as you talk to your friend about your torrid affair with your downstairs neighbor.  In person, over a cocktail, while your phone just happens to be sitting on the table.

Maybe I don't really need to play Angry Birds that badly.

Posted by Eric Lipman on August 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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