Apple invents a new Security Level that will allow users to Password Protect Private Data in Documents & Beyond
Patently Apple has published a series of reports starting on June 15 covering a new major endeavor relate to creating a centralized health management system. The second report posted on June 19 covered Apple working with 'Health Gorilla' and the third report posted on July 9 was titled "Apple Expands their Work on 'Differential Privacy' to Safeguard Next-Gen Health Record Solutions & Beyond." Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a technique for using a computing device to provide password protection for a data item. The emphasis of the initial patent figures as noted below is on safeguarding health data which is in line with Apple's centralized health management system.
Apple's patent FIG. 2A presented below illustrates an exemplary user interface #210 of an application #120 designed to enable a user to manage notes on an iDevice, in this case an iPad. As shown in FIG. 2A, the exemplary user interface includes a list #212 of one or more data items that can be individually selected for password protection.
As illustrated in FIG. 2A, the data items provided in the list are not password protected. FIG. 2A illustrates that a first data item #230 "Medical ID+Health Insurance" is selected from the list. Upon selection of the data item #230, the computing device can provide a preview of the data item on a preview screen #214 of the user interface. In some embodiments, the data item can include secondary information #216, e.g., a time at which the data item was created and/or last modified. In another example, the secondary information can include a preview of the content of the data item. As shown in FIG. 2A, the preview screen can include an action icon #220. Selection of the action icon can cause the application to perform a number of different functions that enables a user to select from options that include: "Copy," "Print," and "Password Protect Note".
As illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2B above, the option to "Password Protect Note" is selected. In turn, the application can provide a prompt to the user to enter a password to be associated with the selected data item.
Apple's patent FIG. 2B illustrates an exemplary user interface for password protecting the selected data item. As shown in FIG. 2B, the user interface can be updated to include an entry box #240 for entering a password. After receiving the password (e.g., by way of a virtual keyboard) the user can be prompted to verify the password via an entry box #242. After receiving the verification the application can also receive a request to associate a secondary authentication factor with the data item via a toggle #250 to turn on/off the secondary authentication factor. By adjusting the state of the toggle the application can associate the secondary authentication factor with the selected data item.
By way of example, the secondary authentication factor can include Touch ID, facial recognition, gesture pattern recognition, secondary pass code, and the like. After validating the inputs, the application can associate the password with the selected data item.
Additionally, the application can establish a secured user session that enables the user to password protect additional unprotected data items without re-entering the password, as well as view other data items that are protected in association with the password.
While Apple's initial patent figures focus on health data to be protected, the concept of course can extend to protecting "a word processing document, a note, a sketch, and the like."
The second half of this invention relates to creating a "work space" associated with supplementary data belonging to the main item, document or note. To learn more about creating the new work space, read patent points #0055 to #0072 of patent application 20170200001. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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