HELP SAVE MOBILE COMPUTING - This application from Apple seeks to patent location-based security. 10 minutes of your time can help narrow this US patent application before it becomes a patent.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before December 31, 2012 that discusses:

  • Adjusting a phone's security settings based on the phone's physical location.

If you've ever seen anything like this before, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question -- one piece of prior art per answer. We welcome multiple answers from a single individual.


Abstract: The security level and/or other device behavior, configurations, or settings on a mobile device can be modified based on the location of the mobile device. The location of the mobile device can be determined by analyzing location aspects present at a location, where any parameters or attributes of a location that can assist in identifying a particular location may be used as location aspects. In a setup process, the mobile device identifies available aspects at a location and can use the available aspects to determine a location context associated with a location. In a use example, the device identifies available aspects at a location and determines whether the available aspects match a previously defined location context. If the available aspects match the previously defined location context, device behavior, configurations, or settings on a mobile device can be modified.

  • Publication Number: 20140187200
  • Assignee: Apple
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating December 31, 2012

7 Answers 7


A comment on an article about Autoprotect mentions an earlier program called CleverPin. There is a review of it dated April 21 2011 on the iJailbreak site. http://www.ijailbreak.com/cydia/cleverpin-tweak-make-your-idevice-ask-for-a-passcode-intelligently/

CleverPin allows you to make your iDevice ask for a passcode intelligently: you can choose to automatically disable it while you’re connected to your home network (more than one network supported), listening music or charging battery. You will never need to waste time again to disable the passcode, because you’re iDevice will ask you for it only when it’s actually needed. You can also choose to automatically re-activate the passcode after a certain time of inactivity.


Any geofencing prior art would most likely be relevant.

The most likely prior art would be something akin to where-is-my-child which is also listed as an example on wikipedia here


"Locale" by Two Forty Four AM is a software that allows the user to set up actions in response to events, where one of the built in "event plugins" is GPS location (also available is a cell-tower location).

Event handlers can include a lot of things, for example:

...automatically enable your lockpattern. For example, disable your unlock pattern at home... November 15, 2011

...enable and disable the lock pattern... January 16, 2011 (also here)

... Home (Location): Wifi on, Ringer volume 100%, Password lockscreen off... April 25, 2011

"Tasker" is another such application, which has this capability built in, as described in the article "Disable Keyguard When At Home" (January 14, 2012). The Task change log describes "action Keyguard Pattern" as early as 11/05/2010 (v0.26b)


US patent 8131846 describes Global, location-aware computer security. Priority date 2009.


US patent 7222359, priority date 2001. System methodology for automatic local network discovery and firewall reconfiguration for mobile computing devices.

This patent has to do with changing security policy based on which location you are in as determined by what network you are connected to.


Autoprotect is a jailbreak app that disables a phone's lock/PIN when the phone is connected to known wifi networks, such as at home.


Location-based security system for portable electronic device,US patent 8302152 B1,Priority date Feb 17, 2012.In this patent,after detecting location of device security mechanism is activated.If location is familiar than simple mechanism to access device otherwise complex mechanism is used to authenticate user to device.

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