Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be calling for an end to digital rights management (DRM) but engineers at his company continue to develop data security technology.
This morning, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent application titled “Securing and controlling access to digital data,” which describes how motion tracked by an input device other than a keyboard.
A good example of this would be an iPhone touch-pad that could be used to emulate a combination lock to secure digital data.
While this is not strictly speaking DRM, the patent application nonetheless contemplates the technology’s use as a means of access control, which is after all the primary function of DRM.
Apparently other Apple patent applications have more explicitly detailed DRM-related research.
Apple’s “Secure software updates” patent application for example describes a method to update DRM software.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it. Data access controls have their uses.
Future iPhone owners will no doubt welcome having their data protected if they lose the device.