August 27, 2010

Apple Going Over the Top?

Yet again I rejoice that I am not an iPhone user. Indeed, given this latest news I might well just chuck  my Mac mini away in protest (no, you probably don't want it - it's an aging obsolete PPC mini from about six years ago).

In news from the Electronic Frontier Foundation I learned today that Apple has applied for patents on method of spying intrusively on the users of their devices. Here's a partial list of possible applications:
  • The system can take a picture of the user's face, "without a flash, any noise, or any indication that a picture is being taken to prevent the current user from knowing he is being photographed";
  • The system can record the user's voice, whether or not a phone call is even being made;
  • The system can determine the user's unique individual heartbeat "signature";
  • To determine if the device has been hacked, the device can watch for "a sudden increase in memory usage of the electronic device";
  • The user's "Internet activity can be monitored or any communication packets that are served to the electronic device can be recorded"; and
  • The device can take a photograph of the surrounding location to determine where it is being used.
So enjoy your iPhones. I won;t be doing business with a company that thinks this way. Sigh. I suppose that means the new laptop will have to be PC based.


Chris Adams said...

I was rather disappointed in the EFF for this - as written, this patent seems to cover theft-recovery services for stolen iPhones and there's no evidence that Apple is planning to use it for any of the things they implied. Given the many other areas of legitimate criticism for the locked-down iOS platform this seemed to weaken the EFFs reputation without actually accomplishing anything.

Unknown said...

It's nice to know that, in this particular case, I can defend my privacy simply by being too cheap to pay Apple prices. :)