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New Apple patent might help catch iPhone stealers

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Written by Mia Miller

No matter how many passwords you set, your iPhone is never totally safe. Thieves are getting craftier and hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated. But a new patent might help catch iPhone stealers CSI-style.

According to Mashable, Apple has just filed a patent called “biometric capture for unauthorized user identification,” which uses its Touch ID to store an image of fingerprints other than the user’s on file.

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You can read the abstract description for the patent in full:

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.

Trying to get as much legal protection

Apple has been going a little patent-crazy lately. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dropped 80 patents for the Apple Car a few weeks ago. And June saw the much buzzed-about curved glass wraparound screen patent. Ever since thelengthy patent court battle between Apple and Samsung awhile back, it’s no surprise Apple’s trying to get as much legal protection as it can for its products.

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Touch ID detects a fingerprint

Touch ID from Apple is a great way to safeguard your device, and the newly filed patent suggests it will also be able to help catch thieves.The technology, named ‘biometric capture for unauthorized user identification,’ is pretty straightforward. If Touch ID detects a fingerprint that isn’t yours, it’ll store an image of the scan as a means of catching whoever may have stolen your phone.

About the author

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Mia Miller

Digital Media Specialist

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