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Thursday October 11, 2012 12:53 pm

Apple granted patent that can disable your iPhone 1984-style

Posted by Jason Diaz Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Corporate News

Apple Geo-Fencing

Apple is not shy about submitting patents on its creations, but this one is a little different. This particular filing attempts to patent the essence of 1984, and would give the Cupertino-based company the sole right to disable a user's iPhone camera app in restricted areas, such as at a concert venue or movie theater. However, it appears that the now-granted patent may disable far more than just your ability to take snapshots.

In a nutshell, this patent renders your iOS device useless, leaving an iDevice incommunicado. This may leave you vulnerable to the whims of a movie theater patron as he hands you stale popcorn. According to Zach Whittaker from ZDNET, "It would be down to governments, businesses and network owners to set such policies. "Perhaps, this would be put to better use in schools and courts?

Amazon dabbled with a similar kill switch of sorts and erased a particular ebook from a bunch of Kindle e-readers. Ironically, the book happened to be 1984! You can't make this stuff up. Needless to say, it turned into a PR nightmare, complete with lawsuits and Amazon's CEO publicly apologizing for the gaffe. That said, Apple's patent works around the technology of GPS geofencing.

We cannot stress enough that this patent cannot only limit your device's ability to take pictures or record video, but also wireless communications. This includes the ability to receive and make calls or use the Internet, once the user enters the unauthorized red zone. As shown in the video above which details the implications and precedence of the patent, human rights advocacy groups will surely jump on this one.

Read More | Business Insider

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