Apple's New Patent Knows Where It's Safe

Apple is looking for ways to bolster security for Apple Pay and other uses of its mobile devices, and on Tuesday (Nov. 11) the company was awarded a patent for yet another location-based security feature, AppleInsider reported.

The newly patented Apple invention would adjust device security settings based on the current "location context." The device could determine that by way of GPS location, network availability, proximity to a specific device on a network, or a combination of factors. Locations could be deemed as "safe" or "unsafe," and settings adjusted accordingly.

For example, a user's home might be declared as a "safe" location, and when the mobile device detected that it was there, the phone or tablet could lengthen the time required before a PIN code had to be entered again. "Unsafe" locations, on the other hand, might shorten that time.

Apple has developed location-based security improvements before; for the new invention, the basic concept remains the same but the methods of determining device location differ.

The patent, titled "Location-sensitive security levels and setting profiles based on detected location," is U.S. Patent No. 8,886,217, and the credited inventors are Alexander Reitter, David Amm, Julian Missig and Raymond Walsh.

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