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Petition asks Apple not to implement video-blocking technology

Remember Apple's patent that would use infrared signals to remotely disable an iPhone's camera? Turns out, people aren't too keen on it.

More than 8,000 people are asking Apple not to include a new video-blocking feature.
Sarah Tew

Here's a new feature Apple fans don't want.

A group of people is asking Apple not to include features in its iPhones that could allow police and governments to remotely disable their cameras. The technology, which was described in a patent awarded to the company last month, could allow a phone's camera to be remotely disabled through infrared signals.

"The release of this technology would have huge implications, including the censoring of political dissidents, activists, and citizens who are recording police brutality," the petition says.

Phones have become a key tool in broadcasting citizen interactions with law enforcement. The use was vividly displayed in the past month when the deaths of two black men and five police officers were broadcast live on Facebook.

Apple initially imagined the patent helping to stop people from recording live concerts, which artists like Adele have been outspoken about.

So far, more than 8,000 people are said to have signed the petition. Apple declined to comment, though the company has not indicated it plans to use the technology in its future products.