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Apple Working on Technology to Secure iPhone Users’ Privacy

The FBI finally gained access to the encrypted iPhone of one of the terrorists without Apple's help

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Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Apple is working on an anti-snooping technology that will prevent law enforcement agencies from tracking mobile phone users’ locations or read their messages.

According to a report in The Telegraph on Sunday, the iPhone maker has patented the technology that encrypts information between an iPhone and a mobile network.

“The technology would hinder so-called ‘Stingray’ boxes, which mimic phone masts and can be used to track phone users’ locations and listen in on phone calls,” said the report.

Stingrays can be exploited by hackers, too, to access mobile users’ data.

The Apple technology would put end-to-end encryption to a phone’s unique ID, thus inhibiting the use of “Stingray” boxes used to track users’ locations.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Also known as “IMSI” catchers, “Stingrays” are used by some police forces in Britain but the extent of their use has not been revealed.

Apple is fighting global pressure to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to access data from an encrypted iPhone.

Australia and Britain have passed laws in this direction while India is also considering a law that would give authorities access to some data.

Also Read- Ukrainian Hackers Used Online Quizzes to Leak Over 60K Facebook Users’ Data: Report

Apple refused the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) demand to unlock an iPhone owned by the shooter who killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California in December 2015.

The FBI finally gained access to the encrypted iPhone of one of the terrorists without Apple’s help. (IANS)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Bullish on Preventative Healthcare Technology, AR

I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it's not a product per se, it's a core technology," he said

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Tim Cook
Apple CEO Time Cook. Wikimedia Commons

Calling Augmented Reality (AR) the next big thing in technology, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated his commitment towards building more preventive healthcare tools in devices like Apple Watch.

In a conversation with IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan here on Monday, Cook said the company is investigating technology that could help identify health risks at an early stage, reports Silicon Republic.

“I think you can take that simple idea of having preventive things and find many more areas where technology intersects healthcare, and I think all of our lives would probably be better off for it,” Cook said.

The cost of healthcare can “fundamentally be taken down, probably in a dramatic way” by integrating healthcare technologies in consumer devices like Apple Watch, he added.

The medical fraternity has welcomed the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch (Series 4 and 5) that can help identify atrial fibrillation, or AFib which is the most common form of arrhythmia.

The sound-monitoring Noise app and menstrual cycle tracking Cycle app have also been released with watchOS 6.

“Most of the money in healthcare goes to the cases that weren’t identified early enough. It will take some time but things that we are doing now — that I’m not going to talk about today — those give me a lot of cause for hope,” Cook told Shanahan.

Tim Cook
New iPhones worth the cost: Tim Cook. IANS

There have been numerous cases where Apple Watch has saved lives globally.

IDA also presented Cook with the inaugural ‘Special Recognition Award’ for Apple’s 40 years of investment in Ireland.

Calling AR the “next big thing” in tech, Cook said he thinks it’s something that doesn’t isolate people.

“We can use it to enhance our discussion, not substitute it for human connection, which I’ve always deeply worried about in some of the other technologies,” said the Apple CEO.

Also Read: Instagram Removes IGTV Shortcut Button Due to Lack of Use

Cook always compared AR with the ubiquitous smartphones.

“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge,” Cook told The Independent newspaper.

I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it’s not a product per se, it’s a core technology,” he said. (IANS)