Apple patent covers secret biometric ID tracking system of unauthorized users

November 15, 2017 - 

Apple has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering technology that implements secret biometric ID and tracking of unauthorized users, according to a report by Patently Apple.

Filed in Q2 2016 and published on November 14, patent 9,819,676 introduces a new advanced biometrics security measure that collects fingerprints as a means of identifying unauthorized individuals attempting to unlock a person’s iPhone, tablet or MacBook.

The biometrics of an unauthorized individual trying to unlock a person’s device would secretly be photographed and video archived.

“Users of computing devices may desire to be able to identify one or more unauthorized users who have attempted to utilize the user’s computing device,” Apple notes in the filing. “Such identification of unauthorized users who have attempted to utilize a computing device may assist a user in prosecuting unauthorized users.”

Apple’s patent relates to systems and methods for capturing biometric information for identifying unauthorized users, rather than an authorized owner using Touch ID to unlock their device.

In the filing, Apple notes that a device may decide on whether to capture biometric information based on the occurrence of one or more trigger conditions.

The trigger condition may be receipt of one or more instructions from one or more devices, detection of potential unauthorized use by the device, normal operation of the device, and so forth.

The device may collect and store biometric information, which may include one or more fingerprints, one or more images of a current user of the device, video of the current user, audio of the environment of the device, forensic interface use information, and so forth, according to the filing.

The device may store the biometric information in an encrypted and/or otherwise hidden form, then provide the data for the identification of one or more unauthorized users, in order to track and/or identify unauthorized users.

The patented invention certainly applies to consumer products and applications, however, Apple suggests in the filing that the invention could also be designed for enterprises, law enforcement agencies or the military.

Earlier this year, Apple patented technology to discreetly call 911 using your fingerprint. Initially filed back in 2013 and published on July 18, the patent application for “Biometric Initiated Communication” details technology that would sense the “manner” in which a finger touched the iPhone screen to trigger a 911 call.

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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.