Last week iDB reported that Apple had filed for a patent that would grant them the ability to remotely wipe and disable your iPhone. According to Mac Rumors the concerns surrounding this ability continue to grow.

The vagueness of the term “unauthorized user” combined with leery methods of detection have some users questioning the control this would give Cupertino. Facial recognition, heartbeat detection and fingerprint analysis are among the ways listed of identifying whomever is in control of the handheld in question…Theoretically, jailbreaking your device could make the use of your iDevice unauthorized since it is widely suspected that in doing so you are actually voiding your warranty. The Register (UK) mentioned the following scenario:

Ignoring the possibility that a false positive in Apple’s proposed theft protection might activate the spy cam while the user is in the bath, or in the middle of some other intimate moment, this technology seems Orwellian for another reason: It gives Steve jobs and Co. the means to retaliate when iPhones aren’t being used in ways Cupertino doesn’t expressly permit.

But remember, it’s for your own good.

To bring us back to Earth we should mention that the February filed patent could just as likely be designed to increase security capabilities in applications such as Find My iPhone. If this turns up being nothing it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has filed a patent that never materialized on the streets. That being said, this particular ability seems too juicy to remain idle.

We’ll keep you updated on any advancements surrounding this story as they surface. Until then, ask yourself if the concerns you hear of are warranted. Would giving remote access to Apple in a patent be overstepping the consumers right to privacy? Or is it that very privacy that Apple is trying to protect? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

  • Rip

    I’d be more concerned if the first box read ‘Unauthorised Use’, which would point to jailbreaking.

    ‘Unauthorised User’ relates to a person, i.e. someone who is not authorised to use the phone/computer, not the registered owner, not the administrator etc.

  • Burge

    For Apple to remote wipe a idevice you the owner would have to signup/agree , allow Apple to have access to the idevice that was in question. Thay can not just do it . The users right to privacy stops them, but saying that Apple will put something in term and conditions.

  • concern

    why patent such things? so that other competitors also can’t provide same security features?

  • Rosebud

    signup/agree yes this is the question… But even with this Apple can vinculate an update, service or anything to this agreement… So stay on iOS4.1 or update to iOS6.5 3x faster and so on…. and let us control your device. This is ridiculous, someone remote control my device without MY control. I’m the owner!!!!

  • Adam

    Doesn’t anyone realize they already can kinda do this. It’s called te kill-switch. You can turn itoff in SB settings. They did it already with the “lost” prototype iPhone 4. Just saying.

    • Burge

      True
      But thay carnt do it to our idevices because it’s mine , yours and not there’s and I haven’t said that thay can do it to mine , have you ?

  • Burge

    Other thing is if Apple can do this because I have jailbroken my iPhone and tampered with there software which is now mine. If I was to throw my phone at a wall will thay say I’ve broke there screen ? Of cause not ! because it’s mine just like the software on it. I paid for it so it’s mine

  • Lizzie Borden

    This is just flaming the fires. They are not out to track down JB devices. This is for the purpose of killing a device IF the owner has, for instance, reported it stollen. The only thing to do after stealing an iPhone is JB it – This would detect the JB and brick the phone (again, IF the original owner requests it).

  • cptkirk

    One thing i don’t understand is, for them to remove the data, we’d have to call or notify them that the iphone is stolen, the solution is already there. Provide iphone users a free “mobile me” account so that we can each be able to wipe off the data. Looks to me there is a hidden agenda behind all this…

  • Jon Garrett

    I have a much better solution for idiots who loose their phones or cowards who let thieves take it from them.

    how about a passcode feature that actually works !!!

    one that cannot be removed simply by restoring a device.

    I must admit, at my job in the past 6 months or so, Ive found 3 iPhones, I took them all home., restored them, jailbroke them and gave them to friends and family.

    if the passcode feature was real, restoring the phone would not work, especially if its being restored from a computer other than the one the device was previously synced and backed up with.

  • markscracthmc

    Itll be a breach of human rights…….without permission, they cannot do anything to your phone, as stated above, we would have to sign a contract/agreement………
    not gonna happen, if i wanna jailbroken iphone……ill have one! standard iphone sucks! 🙂