Apple Granted Patent to Create Identity Clones

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Apple has been granted a most unusual patent that covers a method to create “clones” of online identities in an effort to protect user privacy and thwart the misappropriation of information. It documents a method to create a shadow identity that has just enough correct information to be believable.

Acknowledging the concerns people have with the amount of data being collected about them, who is collecting it, and to what purposes that data might be put, Apple filed back in October 2011 and today was granted a patent to “pollute electronic profiling.”

Image of one woman in two moods

Send in the clones…

While the patent covers techniques and methods to gather and then “pollute” data tied to a user’s online identity, perhaps more important than the specifics is the general concept. Faking areas of interest, automatically performing actions on the network, and randomly selecting actions are just a few of the methods patented to throw eavesdroppers off the track.

The intent is to “make any data collection about a principal less valuable and less reliable” according to the patent.

For a lengthy summary of the patent, see Patently Apple’report. The site also note that the technology is already in use by some Novell products and that Apple is the assignee of the patent with Stephen R. Carter being identified as the inventor.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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Funny thing is, it was just a couple weeks ago that I read about an Android mod that sounds virtually identical to what Apple describes. I’m not sure this is really patentable with prior art.


An anti-Google filter, eh?

Lee Dronick

I?m not sure this is really patentable with prior art.

When did Android release that mod?


I?m not sure this is really patentable with prior art.

The Android mod would have to have been released prior to Apple APPLYING for this patent to be considered prior art.  This article says Apple was “granted” the patent which means that it must have been applied for a very long time ago.

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