Theft of smartphones is unfortunately quite common, and Apple would like to help law enforcement catch thieves, or at least gather information about them. A new patent filed and attributed to the Californian brand has been validated by the national intellectual property register of the United States, and teaches us how this aid could work.
Currently, with iOS, user has five attempts to unlock their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If these five attempts fail, he must Enter the security code established in advance. But this procedure could evolve. Indeed, the patent indicates that it is the user himself who could decide the number of tries. Then, in the event of failure, the various sensors of the device would come into play.
The first is the fingerprint sensor that would record the fingerprint of the finger used, in this case that of the possible thief. At the same time, the front camera would take a photo which, hopefully, would capture the face of the person trying to unlock the device. In parallel, date, time, geographic position and even atmospheric pressure would also be recorded. Once the data is collected, it would be stored locally, but could also be sent to servers for further processing. They could then be forwarded to authorities for the purposes of an investigation or as evidence.
Of course, it is possible that the person trying to unlock the device is the owner, or even that it is a child. The patent specifies thatalgorithm could identify children a family to exclude them from the datas. Finally, if the information collected is no longer necessary, it will be deleted. There is still a long way to go between obtaining a patent and collecting such data, even if the intention is laudable.