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Microsoft patents always-on anti-theft technology for laptops

The submitted patent for the disablement system. (Source: MSPowerUser)
The submitted patent for the disablement system. (Source: MSPowerUser)
Microsoft has patented an anti-theft system for upcoming PCs with cellular connectivity, allowing them to be remotely disabled even without a network connection.

Today, most smartphones have built-in anti-theft protection that allows for remote management of a device, letting the owner track, lock, or wipe a device gone missing. The same can not be said for our laptops, however, which are still vulnerable to having their hardware and data therein stolen. Microsoft has patented an anti-theft solution for this problem that would allow remote disabling of a laptop, though it does have worrying implications for privacy.

Microsoft has patented a system which allows a PC with a cellular modem (i.e. all future Qualcomm Windows 10 PCs) to communicate with a server, with or without a SIM card. Using a similar method as emergency calls on a phone with no SIM, the process would not even require the laptop to be able to connect to a cellular network. Thus, even if the person in possession of the device puts it in airplane mode or removes the SIM, the device will still be remotely locked.

At the same time this invention could potentially keep your data safe from prying eyes, it also means that you could be tracked or have your device locked at any time if the company or government felt entitled to. Depending on the circumstances, it may be simply trading one type of security for another.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 06 > Microsoft patents always-on anti-theft technology for laptops
Douglas Black, 2017-06-25 (Update: 2017-06-25)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - News Editor
Douglas Black is a technology analyst, teacher, writer, and DJ. He is also Managing Editor of UltrabookReview.