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  • "Traitorware:" EFF Warns About Apple Patent


    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is saying that Apple wants to take spyware to the next level and create what the digital-rights advocacy group calls “traitorware:” technology that will inform Cupertino if a user is doing something the company doesn't like. The patent - which Michael covered last week, describes technologies that would ostensibly help recover stolen iPhones, but could also be used for spying and as a remote "kill switch" for jailbroken and unlocked phones.

    The patent, "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device" describes how an iOS device could determine a user’s identity and whether or not the user is the registered owner. The capabilities of the device - recording the voice of a user, getting the real-time location of the device, taking a photo of the user and the surroundings, and biometric information like heart rate and something called the "vibration profile" all without the user’s knowledge.

    EFF writer Julie Samuels writes in her blog post entitled "Steve Jobs is Watching You" that Apple does not say in the application how it would use the information, how long it will keep it, or who it would share it with. Samuels raises warnings that if Apple collects the information, the likelihood is great that it will eventually be exposed either by law enforcement or by security breaches, either outcome being a grave risk to privacy. Furthermore, Samuels highlights (as Michael did in his article) the capability this would give Apple to remotely kill any jailbroken or unlocked device.

    “This patent application does nothing short of providing a roadmap for how Apple can — and presumably will — spy on its customers and control the way its customers use Apple products,” Samuels writes. Decrying it as “downright creepy and invasive,” Samuels calls on Apple to leave this technology on the shelf.

    Source: Computerworld
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Traitorware:" EFF Warns About Apple Patent started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 87 Comments
    1. EdmundGerber's Avatar
      EdmundGerber -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      psh... Devs will disable Apple's ability to do this before starting the jailbreak process, yet another reason to jailbreak iPhones.
      I look forward to feeding them skewed results....
    1. nerddownthestreet's Avatar
      nerddownthestreet -
      In 2011, Apple will release the iPhone 5, so that 2011 will be 1984.


      Think Same
    1. ugshotgun's Avatar
      ugshotgun -
      Quote Originally Posted by blazew0n View Post
      i ain't worried about it, you can't stop hackers... They have and always figure out a way around it.
      nuff said....
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      the more I hear about this latest invasion of privacy the more Im considering getting another phone.

      I love my iphone 4 but I love my right to privacy and my constitutional rights a whole lot more.
    1. -_-'s Avatar
      -_- -
      Yeah, if i remember correctly from my constitutional/bill of rights/some government article.. theres public domain and private domain. unless apple is the government...which they aren't (yet) they don't have a right to all that information. It's so ironic that when they started out with their 1984 commercial, to where they are now...it's just sad. I know i'm rambling on, but it's the truth.
    1. soulthoughts's Avatar
      soulthoughts -
      Thank god for the apple kill switch.
    1. btowne's Avatar
      btowne -
      i bet apple has been doing this for a year and they already know who has jb'ed iphones. we're all f****** if this patent gets passed
    1. JayQuint87's Avatar
      JayQuint87 -
      Yep creepy
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MaxxyBoii2K10 View Post
      I'm sure the devs will find a way to trick it and feed it information from somewhere else, personally I'm not worried..
      Yes indeed...

      Sorry Steve, its not going to happen...

      Quote Originally Posted by Antman217 View Post
      What if you buy an iphone off a friend and its still registered to them?!

      It still registered, but its not reported as stolen...
    1. ws.kike.sj's Avatar
      ws.kike.sj -
      personaly im not worried either but still wtf?heart rate?camera monitering?this **** does not sound veryy friendly
    1. Comwiz's Avatar
      Comwiz -
      Actually, the new legislation allows you todo as you please with your device, however, if you want to use Apple's software– you have to agree to the End-User Agreement in which they can put whatever they want (i.e. We can brick your phone if you tamper with the firmware.)– as long as you click "I agree" at the end.
    1. sekazi's Avatar
      sekazi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Comwiz View Post
      Actually, the new legislation allows you todo as you please with your device, however, if you want to use Apple's software– you have to agree to the End-User Agreement in which they can put whatever they want (i.e. We can brick your phone if you tamper with the firmware.)– as long as you click "I agree" at the end.
      Which is pretty much what I said earlier. But with a jailbreak they can bypass it and the worst that will happen is it voids the warranty. They cannot do anything about it.
    1. that_girl's Avatar
      that_girl -
      There's no way this would pass through. My phone is ok as long as the kill switch is turned off, right?
    1. wrecked77's Avatar
      wrecked77 -
      Isn't this what the killswitch is for?
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      The kills switch Apple has now is for Apps that they can kill. It hasn't been used but it has been there.
    1. jazzmachine's Avatar
      jazzmachine -
      This is way over the line. The very fact that Apple is trying to patent this technology makes me never want to give the company a dollar of my money ever again... Whether it's ever implemented or not.
    1. macsoldier's Avatar
      macsoldier -
      I really dont see this happening considering jail breaking is legal, and it would take one time for this info to leak out and Apple is done for. This will turn into another win for the good guys if it went to court, or some sort of legislation would be made specifically for companies so they can not do this. Apple will one day realize that when we buy the iPhone or any other iDevice that it is our property, and we are responsible for when it gets lost or stolen. Apple will more than likely put on a front saying its protecting its customers, sorry we dont need that, just create an app for that and well be happy. I am a big Apple fan but this would take it to far.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by fineally01 View Post
      thats a scary thing... and also a invasion of privicy!!! let me find out that they're doin that **** to me and I'm suing someone
      The scary thing here is that it's not an invasion of privacy if you AGREE to it. All it takes is forcing you to agree to it in order to use the product via EULA and you are screwed out of your planned lawsuit.
    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      The scary thing here is that it's not an invasion of privacy if you AGREE to it. All it takes is forcing you to agree to it in order to use the product via EULA and you are screwed out of your planned lawsuit.
      I agree. The apple products are great but the restrictions implied are ridiculous I'm not gonna sit here and worry about it Till it has been passed and announce If u gonna switch to android
      Go ahead god knows what googles doing with ur info already. + apple want probobably imply it as the risk is tremendous imagine if they got hacked the entire iPhone community with millions of users will get screwed butthen it'll
      Probably attract gov attention.
    1. blu3frost's Avatar
      blu3frost -
      LOL, I'd like to see Apple try and pull this off successfully.