The USPTO has published several patents application made by Apple today. One of the big application is titled – Electronic Devices Having Adaptive Security Profiles and Methods for Selecting the Same. The patent application N0. is – 20120284779 was filed by Apple in May 4, 2011.
The patent uses Apple’s Geo-fencing technology similar to that used in their Reminders App to determine the location of the user. If the user is not located in a predefine geographical location based on his/her daily routine the security function would be activated.
According to Apple’s patent application:
[quote] As referred to herein, an expected zone can generally be a geographic area where an electronic device expects itself to be, the boundaries of which may be determined by any suitable method. The expected zone may be determined by ascertaining a user’s normal routine. Many people follow the same routine day after day (i.e., they wake up at home, go to work, and go back home) so an expected zone may be based on where a user usually is at a particular time on a particular day of the week, for example.[/quote]
Here is the full run down on the patent application:
Adaptive security profiles are supported on an electronic device. One or more security profiles may be automatically or selectively applied to the device based on the device’s location and one or more geographic zone definitions. The security profiles may be used to determine the level of authentication or number of invalid authentication attempts for a particular feature or application or set of features or applications.
Portable electronic devices have become ubiquitous and continue to evolve to have an ever-expanding range of capabilities. It is not uncommon for a single device to perform multiple functions, including playing music, displaying video, storing pictures, sending and receiving email, receiving and transmitting phone calls, etc. Because of the portability of modern electronic devices, users often carry them wherever they go.
The increased convenience brought about by these devices is not without attendant perils. One potential downside, for example, is that unauthorized access to an electronic device may pose a dangerous security risk for a user. Users often have access to personal information (e.g., bank accounts, contact lists, and email) and confidential data (e.g., work related information) through their electronic devices that can be compromised in the event that the device is lost or stolen. One solution may be to provide password protection for each interaction between a user and his or her device, though frequent authentication may become onerous. Accordingly, what is needed are systems and methods for supporting various adaptive security profiles on an electronic device.
Electronic devices that support various adaptive security profiles and methods for the selection thereof are disclosed. According to some embodiments, a method for supporting various adaptive security profiles may include maintaining a database that defines expected zones in which the electronic device may be located, obtaining a current location of the electronic device, determining whether the current location is located in, or near, one of the expected zones, and selectively applying one of a plurality of different security profiles based on the determination of whether the current location is located in, or near, one of the expected zones. As referred to herein, an expected zone can generally be a geographic area where an electronic device expects itself to be, the boundaries of which may be determined by any suitable method. The expected zone may be determined by ascertaining a user’s normal routine. Many people follow the same routine day after day (i.e., they wake up at home, go to work, and go back home) so an expected zone may be based on where a user usually is at a particular time on a particular day of the week, for example. Alternatively, or additionally, the expected zone may be ascertained by referencing a user’s calendar or social network.
According to another embodiment, an electronic device for supporting various adaptive security profiles is provided. The device may include a location module operative to determine the location of the electronic device, a data storage device operative to store at least one expected zone and at least one security profile, and a processing module coupled to the memory and the location module. The processing module is operative to compare the determined location of the electronic device to the at least one expected zone and apply at least one electronic device security profile based on the comparison.