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Patent describes 'measures for identifying unauthorized users'

Apple patents anti-jailbreak ‘kill switch’ for iPhone

iPhone maker Apple has applied for a patent which describes processes which are described as protecting iPhone owners from unauthorised use but also takes aim at jailbreaking.

The new patent in the main describes mechanisms to protect owners by ensuring that “access to sensitive information such as credit card information, social security numbers, banking information, home addresses, or any other delicate information can be prohibited."

However the patent called "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device” also discusses mechanisms for identifying other activities potentially the result of handset owners wishing to get around Apple’s software restrictions such as jailbreaking or operator network unlocking. 

“An activity that can detect an unauthorized user can be any action that may indicate the electronic device is being tampered with by being, for example, hacked, jailbroken, or unlocked,” the patent states. 

On detecting such a modification Apple may then remotely lock, wipe or deny cellphone service via the network operator. There’s no indication of what Apple intends with the technology described but it appears that despite the US authorities recently ruling that jailbreaking is legal, Apple is intent on tightening up control yet further.

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