Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, August 12, 2021

remote control
There’s an insidious tone accompanying the news that Apple’s iPhone 2.0 firmware contains a “kill switch” component that can delete applications remotely, without the consent of the device’s user.

(Note that this affects iPod Touches as well, as they run the very same firmware. I suppose you could avoid exposing one to this never turning on the wi-fi nor syncing it with iTunes Store — a highly unlikely scenario.)

I don’t disagree that having to subject your gadget to this big-brotherish remote management is dicey, despite Apple’s good intentions of using it only in the event of a malicious app slipping through. If anything, it points to a deficiency in Apple’s vetting of additions to the App Store if it relies upon a backup guard like this.

However, it occurs to me: A remote way to kill off functions on an iPhone — mainly in cases of lost phones containing sensitive information — was a key request from corporate IT departments, and really the only software-based requirement that could have been included in the 3G. So it’s quite possible that this “kill switch” is nothing more than a concession to business adopters. And since BlackBerries already sport this feature, what’s the big deal about Apple now including it in their offerings?

I’m still not crazy about it, but if the more ubiquitous BlackBerry already does this, I don’t see why Apple’s emulation should spook anyone.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/12/2021 11:13:24 PM
Category: Tech, iPod
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