Apple applies for anti-Jailbreak [spy] patent

Mike Halsey MVP
Aug 23, 2010
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

Jailbreaking Apple's iPhones has has a lot of publicity of late with new tools making it easier than ever before to unlock the iPhone so it can be used across networks and have any apps installed.  Now though Apple have applied for a patent that could allow them to remotely disable any iPhones that are being used for an "unauthorised" purpose.

The patent, which is intended to be able to disable stolen handsets was submitted on Friday and is called "systems and methods for identifying unauthorized users of an electronic device".  It outlines a way to identify Jailbroken iPhones or iPads or ones that have been reported as stolen (Apple are obviously making the assumption that any stolen phone will need to be unlocked before it's disabled by the carrier network).

It details many different methods for identifying the devices and the person with that device.  These include recording the users voice, taking photos or detecting the heartbeat of the user.  It also details how GPS could be used to track the handset.

The patent also details methods by which the genuine user of the phone could be notified of this through email or services such as Facebook.

Functions would be restricted, it says, including contacts, calendars, browsers and any and all functionality that either contains personal information or could run up a bill for the user.

While the patent is clearly aimed at averting the huge crime-wave surrounding the iPhone, it's also a good way for Apple to identify Jailbroken devices and this raises the question that if you've paid for it, and own it, why shouldn't you be alowed to do what you like with it?

If this all seems a little machiavellian to you then you're probably not alone.

Source : Slashdot


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Melita Puff said on March 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    ok i have a question things that are your liked exercise that fred

  2. DanTe said on August 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    My My. How the mactards comes raging out with foams on their mouth. From calling the author a liar to implying he’s an imbecile for bad grammar (this from an imbecile that spells it grammers).

    What a hoot. I’m just surprised that jailbreaking iPhones actually occurs in some instances. I didn’t think mactards had the brains to do it to begin with.

    But Steve Jobs is right. Apple is selling a fashion, an experience. It wouldn’t do for the sheep to see other folks with better iPhones than theirs. Can’t have jailbreaking at all. Wouldn’t be fair for some sheep to find wolves in their comfy midst.

    1. nicbot said on August 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      “It wouldn’t do for the sheep to see other folks with better iPhones than theirs.”


  3. DV said on August 23, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Mike Halsey have bad grammers.

  4. ilev said on August 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    There is nothing new here. Microsoft with WinMo, Google with Android, Amazon with Kindle and every cellular provider, have access to the mobile devices, to remotly format the OS, or erase applications and data, behind the back of the users.

  5. nicbot said on August 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I say let Apple do it and ‘lockout’ the jailbreak community. Apple and Steve need a wake-up call and the patent office should not protect them from making bad business decisions.

    I don’t see this idea coming to fruition though. I think Steve and crew are aware and secretly happy with the jailbreak community. But again, Apple continues to move in the direction of a proprietary techno police state and should be reminded that this is toxic to progress.

  6. aftermath said on August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    shanetastic, you are right. This is NOT anti-jailbreak software. Unfortunately, you are also wrong. This is NOT “software to help someone if their phone is stolen”. Since you also read the patent, you also noticed that the patent REQUEST (not yet granted), titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device”, covers methods to differentiate between authorized and unauthorized users of a particular iOS device including: voice print analysis, photo analysis, heartbeat analysis, hacking attempts, and “noting particular activities that can indicate suspicious behavior”. While I believe that your impression MIGHT have accurately captured a PORTION of what’s true, I don’t think that your portion is necessarily any bigger or smaller than the one that you refute. Moreover, both are just portions, and focussing in too narrowly distracts us from the big picture where the whole truth lives.

  7. shanetastic said on August 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    That’s not anti-jailbreak software! That’s software to help someone if their phone is stolen. Why else would it notify the “genuine user” via email? Who would a “genuine user” be if not the person from whom the phone was stolen. Quit trying to gin up controversy.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.