Thursday, June 16, 2011

Game Over, Apple

Fox News is reporting that Apple Computers has filed for a patent for a system that would automatically disable the camera portion of their devices at public events.  Basically, if someone doesn't want you taking a photo or a video of something, they put up special infrared sensors.  The system notices the Apple device, and instructs it to shut down its camera.  The proposed use of the system would be for concerts and such where photography isn't supposed to be happening. 

My guess is that if this is shown to be effective, you'll see similar systems in other mobile devices.  And then you'll see these things mounted on a lot of things that people don't want you to take pictures or video of:

  • A police cruiser
  • A policeman's equipment belt
  • TSA checkpoints
  • Political speeches
  • And basically anywhere that non-controlled media have taken pictures and video of government officials that are embarrassing

Sorry, Apple, but I refuse to buy a device that has a remote kill switch in its functionality.  Yes, I know, it already has one, and Apple can brick my iPhone anytime it wants to.  But to give that ability to any jackboot who wants to make sure there is less evidence of wrongdoing is out of bounds.

Thanks, but no thanks. If this functionality is in any of the future Apple mobile devices, I'll go with someone else.  Closed systems and liberal politics I can take. Giving anyone else control over what my device can and can't do?  Not so much.


Ruth said...

Yah, saw that earlier. Pretty much killed my interest in an iphone. Course I've got my eye on a Droid anyway

David said...

This could also be used to allow people who want to own an iPhone but are not allowed to bring cameras into their workplace for security reasons. This would benefit those who work in secure places. They could keep their phone but allow their employer to disable the camera in certain areas. It's not infringement if you agree to it.

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