Apple has been granted U.S. Patent No. 8,254,902, titled “Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device.” The description of the invention reveals that the company could restrict access to certain functions of our phones, such as the camera, with a flick of a switch.
The patent literature describes “Apparatus and methods for changing one or more functional or operational aspects of a wireless device, such as upon the occurrence of a certain event.”
In usual patently-manner, several embodiments are listed, such as the one below.
“This policy enforcement capability is useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater), for preventing wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices (such as in academic settings), and for forcing certain electronic devices to enter "sleep mode" when entering a sensitive area.”
In case covert police or government operations require complete "blackout" conditions, Apple would help out by flicking the same switch.
The patent application also states that, as wireless devices, such as the iPhone, become ubiquitous, “[they] frequently disrupt meetings, the presentation of movies, religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, academic lectures, and test-taking environments.”
Michael Zhang at Tech site Peta Pixel (highlighted
by presstv.ir), believes that the future of amateur photography doesn’t look too bright, if Apple can just switch off your iPhone.
“If this type of technology became widely adopted and baked into cameras, photography could be prevented by simply setting a ‘geofence’ around a particular location, whether it's a movie theater, celebrity hangout spot, protest site, or the top secret rooms at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California.”