A couple of years back I bought an iPhone 3GS. I own that phone now, whether I remain a subscriber to any particular cell provider or not (I actually asked Apple directly about ownership in the context of discussing an upgrade, and the Apple rep chirped “The phone is yours. You own it.”)
Or so I thought. Big Steve apparently doesn’t see it that way.
IPHONE users may soon be stopped from filming at concerts — as a result of new Apple technology.
The leading computer company plans to build a system that will sense when people are trying to video live events — and turn off their cameras.
A patent application filed by Apple revealed how the technology would work.
If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it.
These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function.
Apple’s patent may never make it to any product, of course — they patent all kinds of things that never end up on the streets. But the idea that they’re even considering this, if they are, is a problem by itself. I OWN the phone. Apple has no right to turn it off remotely. This opens up all sorts of disturbing possibilities, especially in totalitarian states, where the company might have an incentive to trade profits for personal liberty.
The iPhone is a fantastic piece of technology, but between this, and the iCloud’s questionable personal data management, it might be worth re-thinking the relationship. I generally like Apple a lot, they make some of the most useful and creative devices and software around. I like the company, I like their innovations and I like their products. I hope this story turns out to be wrong.