Apple’s New iOS Security Feature Could Be More Trouble Than It’s Worth

Find Your iPhone

For forgetful iPhone users, the ‘Find My iPhone’ app is a blessing, with Apple’s official software allowing you to not only find your precious iDevice when you can’t find it under your sofa/amongst your bedclothes/wherever the hell you left it last, but it also boasts the added function of letting you lock it, meaning that even if it has been pilfered from your pocket (or if you really don’t want someone to be able to steal it should they get to your iPhone before you) your phone and the accounts that it’s signed into are more or less fully protected. That lock function is definitely handy when you don’t know where your phone is but when it’s in close proximity to you, quite the opposite might be beneficial as being able to quickly get into your accounts would be a huge plus point. Now, Apple is set to implement that with an iOS security feature that locks (or unlocks) your phone based on where you are.

The information of Apple’s plans comes from a patent filing from the company who explain that as the different places you frequent will cause you to be on different levels of alert, the security that your phone offers should do the same. For example, if you’re at home then your phone could potentially be completely unlocked because you’re in a trusted environment, meanwhile being at work could see your iPhone’s security step it up a bit and being out and about amongst strangers could see it go on maximum lockdown just to be on the safe side.

Apple also said this in its filing,

“Because some locations may be inherently more secure, such as a user’s home or office, these locations may be considered ‘safe’ and require less stringent security. It can be desirable to have decreased security requirements when the mobile device is at a secure location. Conversely, some locations may be considered higher risk or ‘unsecure.’ In these locations, it can be desirable to implement stronger security protections.”

There’s little doubt that such a feature could be a positive but it also leads to security issues as the places that users think are safe actually might not be. If you leave your phone on low security and have guests over to your home what happens if they get their hands on your mobile? We’d all like to think that those we invite into our homes would avoid this but when your phone has predetermined that those that you’re around are good people, you leave the device open for hacks or even basic trifling. Apple’s feature is just a patent however and they may actually scrap it before it gets released but for now there are some clear things that the company needs to think about before the feature makes it to our devices.

Source: CBS