Last week an Apple patent application was published and it described how certain activities performed on a iOS device could suggest "suspicious behavior" that could reveal unauthorized usage of that device. In particular - voice, facial, or heartbeat recognition could be used to confirm whether or not the current user is indeed an authorized user and should have access to the given device or not. Then depending on the authorization the user could be given full access to all data stored on the device or could be limited. And if you dig deeper into the patents details you will see Apple may have an alternative motive, namely jailbreaking.

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blockquote>“An activity that can detect an unauthorized user can be any action that may indicate the electronic device is being tampered with by being, for example, hacked, jailbroken, or unlocked,” the patent continues. “For example, a sudden increase in memory usage of the electronic device can indicate that a hacking program is being run and that an unauthorized user may be using the electronic device."

So in other words, if your iPhone is not being used in way Mr. Jobs agrees with, he can deactivate your device.

UPDATE: Due to a technical error, this post sat in limbo for a week but we consider it interesting enough that we'd rather have it up late than never. Apologies for the tardiness but do let us know what you think about a future where this patent is in use on real devices.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]