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Apple’s next iPhones could capture video footage and fingerprint data of thieves

Being one of the most desirable items on the planet, it’s no wonder that the iPhone is often the target of theft. Apple has done an admirable job of battling back against thieves with tools such as Find My iPhone and giving iPhone owners the ability to wipe their devices remotely when they are lost or stolen.

But the future of iPhone security could be far more impressive.

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On Thursday morning, Patently Apple shared a patent from Apple that describes a security system which would allow iPhones to capture a thief’s fingerprint data using Touch ID and then record video or capture a picture of the thief.

Here’s the full explanation from the patent:

“A computing device may determine to capture biometric information in response to the occurrence of one or more trigger conditions. The trigger condition may be receipt of one or more instructions from one or more other computing devices, detection of potential unauthorized use by the computing device, normal operation of the computing device, and so on. The computing device may obtain biometric information and may store such biometric information. Such biometric information may be one or more fingerprints, one or more images of a current user of the computing device, video of the current user, audio of the environment of the computing device, forensic interface use information, and so on. The computing device may then provide the stored biometric information for identification of one or more unauthorized users.”

Knowing that your face and fingerprint might be captured by a stolen iPhone could be a strong deterrent for potential thieves. As always, it’s worth noting that Apple files hundreds of patents that never result in any tangible products or features, but this one seems like a no-brainer if Apple can make it work.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.