Apple may be getting into the law enforcement game with future versions of its iPhones and iPads. That’s according to an Apple patent that describes how Apple iOS devices could make police work easier by automatically snapping pictures and video of the iPhone or iPad thieves. What’s more, according to the patent, it could even capture the bad guy’s fingerprint data via the Touch ID sensor on the devices.
In the patent, Apple says the photo and video taking could be sparked by repeated failed attempts to unlock a device or by the owner enabling Find My iPhone using a different device.
An excerpt of the patent reads: “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.”
IPhones and iPads are a hot commodity these days, given the devices have good resale value, whether by selling it to a consumer or even trading it in for cash at stores around the country. The devices already include security features designed to help customers whose devices are stolen. One such feature is Find My iPhone, which enables the device’s location to be tracked. The Activation Lock prevents the device from being reset without the original owner’s approval.