iOS

Apple patents encryption to protect iPhone users’ locations and other data

In 2019, one way or another, you’re being tracked. Bail bondsmen and prison sheriffs can buy data in bulk and exploit software to gain real-time location data of anyone nearby. Governments can conduct sting operations in conjunction with cellphone makers to break encryption keys or set up fake cell towers to harvest information, known as “stingrays” or “IMSI catchers.”

Apple, which, while not at all perfect or pure-intentioned, prides itself on protecting consumer privacy may soon have another chip in its sleeve to keep iPhone users in its bay.

The Telegraph reports that the company is working on encryption that will make those IMSIs or the international mobile subscriber identities of cellphones unreadable when they are transmitting to a connecting cell site. Any messages sent could still be picked up and be comprehended in full, but there would be no readable tag to signal where the message came from.

Apple filed a patent application in 2017 and it was just published last month.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.