Feeds

Apple blocks booze, cigs sales with parental control patent

Also snares rights on 'media gift' flinging tech

High performance access to file storage

Apple has won a patent for its tap-to-pay iWallet tech that will block kids' accounts if they try to buy beer and tell their parents if they go shopping on Amazon.

The "parental controls" patent filed in January 2009 and granted yesterday establishes a set of rules governing what Apple's tap-to-pay chip would be capable of paying for.

Under the new safeguard system, purchases from alcohol or tobacco vendors would be blocked, and purchases from Amazon could require parental permission.

Security is a hot topic with tap-to-pay technology, and in most devices where Near Field Communications chips are used to make payments there is a maximum payment limit – usually $25 or $50. Apple's safeguard system as laid out in this patent goes a little further, authorising payments from only certain merchants, notifying parents when a purchase is made, or blocking certain payments all together. The patent is illustrated with the sample case of little Johnny's phone – at least we assume he is little because Apple has decided that he is not allowed to buy tobacco.

Parental controls in action, credit US Patent Office

It would all be controlled through iTunes:

Parental controls in action in iTunes, credit US Patent Office

Note that iTunes becomes the portal through which the money flows: so you authorise payments, set rules and check statements only inside its confines. It's all part of Apple's push towards making iTunes a financial hub, and putting Apple at the centre of a lot more financial transactions than it already is – not transactions at the off-licence though; you'll need an Android phone for that. Or just some cash.

Apple has a series of patents related to the tap-to-pay iWallet, and another one of them was also granted yesterday, relating to tech that would allow you to send "media gifts" between NFC-enabled phones.

The 'System and method for processing media gifts payment' will let iOS owners flick Rihanna songs and iTunes credits over to each other. ®

Patent 8,127,982: Parental controls granted 6 March, 2012.

Patent 8,131,645: 'System and method for processing media gifts' granted 6 March, 2012

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.