Filming concerts and other photography-prohibited spaces could soon be impossible on iOS devices following a new patent that has been granted to Apple.
The patent appears to be for a camera disabler that would work with venues using infrared signals that could block or alter photographs being taken in the vicinity. The signals could also be used to apply watermarks, blurs, and other forms of modifications to captured photographs, according to Complex.
“Infrared Transmitters Could One Day be on Stages to Prevent Illegal Image Capturing” claims the caption attached to the patent diagram, which shows a band playing on a stage and an iPhone displaying the message “RECORDING DISABLED”.
In the patent, Apple also theorizes that the technology could alternatively be used for tourists at museums, or customers in shops, claiming under another diagram that “Infrared Systems on Future iOS Devices Could Act as a Tour Guide or Retail Assistant.”
This diagram shows an iPhone pointed at a museum artifact, with the phone displaying a picture and information about the item, along with the ability to listen to audio or watch a video.
Despite Apple’s routine filing of hundreds of different patents, many of which never materialize, the infrared systems patent seems to counter the company’s recent stance against privacy invasion. In February, two months after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Apple took a firm stance against the FBI after they refused to unlock one of the shooter’s phones on customer privacy and encryption grounds.
“For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business,” claimed Apple in a statement. Their new patent might cross a narrow line between upholding the law and interfering with private devices.