Will Apple Help Discover Affairs?

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News Article: http://news.sky.com/story/1012055/apple-moves-ahead-with-presence-sensing

So Apple has just filed for some new Patents in relation to using a mobile device to recognise a person’s presence around their phone, or desktop computer. This is the initial concept for another excellent idea from a ground breaking technology company, but could it lead to underhand evidence gathering by a suspecting spouse or partner?

In the old days, before computer equipment and technology played a part, a spouse could happily wander off on his/her own, tell their partner they were ‘working late’, and commence all sorts of bad behaviour behind their partner’s back. But technology is changing all this, and now the ‘cheated’ are catching the cheaters out!

Even just 20 years ago, for the average member of the public, the only way you could find out if your partner was cheating on you, was to follow him. You discover where he’s going, and if it’s into the apartment of a young damsel, then you’ve obtained your evidence. Fast forward 20 years and now you have access to matchbox size vehicle GPS tracking devices, covert cameras hidden inside cigarette packets and car keys with audio bugs inside them. And it seems Apple might be traversing into the unmasking game themselves too.

Their new patents suggest that the company is moving in the direction of creating phones that will be able to detect skin tone, a heartbeat, breathing patterns and even recognising faces. This is fantastic news on the surface. In the very near future, you’ll be able to pick up your handset, and within seconds the phone will recognise your face, work out who you are, and then most probably give you updates for the day, what time your next meeting is in your calendar, and maybe even if you look ill and that you should see a doctor.

But as soon as third party application programmers get their hands on the technology, how long will it be before we see ‘apps’ coming on to the market that can be downloaded on to a cheating partner’s phone, and then whenever an ‘unrecognised’ face is detected by the phone, a swift e-mail is sent to the spouse along with the GPS co-ordinates of the phone and it’s location.

Whilst this senario presents new questions about our continual lack of privacy nowadays and the constant re-inforcing idea of a ‘big brother’, at least it will hopefully keep a possible cheating partner wary of who’s watching, and maybe they’ll go home to their loving partner, instead of to the house of another lover.


Written by Martyn Kemp
Kemp Investigations and Legal Services
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