Apple files patent for iPhone security feature that records fingerprint of thieves

August 31, 2016 - 

In its continuous effort to advance the security features of its devices, Apple recently filed a patent application titled “Biometric Capture for Unauthorized User Identification” that covers “systems and methods for capturing biometric information for identifying unauthorized users,” according to a report by Patently Apple.

Originally filed in April and published last week, patent application 20160248769 describes a process designed to identify unauthorized users of computing devices, and more specifically to capture biometric information for identifying unauthorized users.

As lead inventor Byron B Han explains in the application, “A computing device may determine to capture biometric information in response to the occurrence of one or more trigger conditions. The trigger condition may be receipt of one or more instructions from one or more other computing devices, detection of potential unauthorized use by the computing device, normal operation of the computing device, and so on.

“The computing device may obtain biometric information and may store such biometric information. Such biometric information may be one or more fingerprints, one or more images of a current user of the computing device, video of the current user, audio of the environment of the computing device, forensic interface use information, and so on. The computing device may then provide the stored biometric information for identification of one or more unauthorized users.”

The new technology follows Apple’s ongoing attention to security, having previously introduced features like “Find My iPhone,” high end encryption and remote wipe.

In 2010, Apple filed a patent application that covered a security feature that takes a photo of thieves and records their voice if they make a call.

In 2013, Apple introduced Touch ID to the iPhone, and in doing so, have updated its security intellectual property to include the fingerprint authentication feature to help authorities in locating an iPhone thief.

Apple’s patent application includes a flow chart that illustrates an example method for capturing biometric information for identifying unauthorized users.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.