Professional Issues And Computer Ethics Computer Science Essay

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In this assignment, iOS 6 designed by Apple Inc. has become the subject of study in this topic. iOS 6 is basically an operating system implemented in iPhone, iPod, iPad and iPad Mini. Some research found out that the some features in iOS 6 has involved in several ethics issues to users and government sectors.

Apple Maps revealed the classified militarily base.

Apple Map is a latest feature designed by Apple Inc. came with iOS 6. It aims to provide turn-by-turn navigation, clear graphic, real-time traffic information, 3D views, local search and Siri voice search. Apple Inc. tries to provide a good user experiment in their map function. However, this application has disclosed the classified area such as militarily area and prison. Those countries involved in this situation are Taiwan, Dutch, Turkey, Japan and United State.

Picture of Taiwan Militarily Based at Hsinchu.

Image source:

Matt Peckham, (2012), Apple Maps discloses location of classified Taiwan military base [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.ubergizmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/hsinchu-apple-outs-maps.jpg [Accessed 10 April 13].

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This problem is caused by the Map Provider of Apple Inc. using the commercial satellite is too detailed. As one of the world technology leader company, Apple Inc. stepped out the first move to provide their own map function. The downside is they did not notice certain professional ethic in this area which they should pay extra attention on it.

Unfortunately, this issues has brought critical security threats to countries. Terrorist may use this information to plan for an attack. For example, Taiwan militarily based has built a radar system to detect any launching of missiles from their enemies. With the aid of the Apple Maps, their enemy knew their radar system location and able to launch the missile outside the range of radar.

Apple Inc. has received request from countries to blur out the resolution in those area to solve the issue. As what theirs competitors - Google always do since 2005, pixelating and blurring those high sensitive area.

In short, this issue involved in violation of professional standard in providing map service which should be conducted by Apple Inc. before releasing the map application to public.

Image comparing Google map and Apple maps in sensitive area.

Image source:

Matt Swider , (2012), iOS 6 doesn't cover up sensitive military installations [ONLINE]. Available at: http://cdn0.mos.techradar.com///art/other/Onetimers/Maps%20security-580-75.jpg [Accessed 10 April 13].

Citation & Reference:

Apple Inc.. 2013. Apple - iOS 6 - All-new, Apple-designed Maps with 3D views. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.apple.com/ios/maps/. [Accessed 10 April 13].

Matt Swider. 2012. Apple Maps reveals high-security spots, Google Maps adds the right detail. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/apple-maps-reveals-high-security-spots-google-maps-adds-the-right-detail-1100729. [Accessed 10 April 13]

Kif Leswing. 2012. Apple Maps discloses location of classified Taiwan military base. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/10/apple-maps-discloses-location-of-classified-taiwan-military-base/. [Accessed 10 April 13].

iMessage typing indicator

iMessage is another feature in iOS 6 which provide messaging function across all apple devices including iMac, Macbook and iPad. This function is to serves as a platform to message via Wi-Fi and provide secure data encryption. However, sometimes, it will also reveal the privacy of user. When you are replying message in an iMessage conversation, there will have a typing status to indicate that the user is typing message.

Picture shown that the user is replying to the message from the typing indicator.

Image Source:

Jeff Benjamin, (2013), TypingPrivacy prevents iMessage users from seeing when you type [ONLINE]. Available at: http://media.idownloadblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Typing-Privacy-Dot-Dot-Dot.png [Accessed 15 April 13].

The issue is caused by the typing indicator expose the privacy of user. Apple Inc. did concern about the privacy of user in iMessage. They provide an option for user to choose whether allow the sender to be acknowledge when recipient received the message. In contrast, they do not provide user an option to choose whether allow recipient to know if the sender is replying the message.

Hence, it will become a serious issue for those user who concern and take account of privacy. For example, sometimes, recipient will expect your reply while you are out due to reason of tiredness and lacking of idea. Recipient will feel disappointed and a sense of less attention from the sender because the message does not arrived after sender has stopped typing. While sender are not intended to do so, but the typing indicator has exposed their privacy and result unnecessary problem in relationship.

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To overcome problem, there are two alternative. First, Apple Inc. should implement a second option for user to disable the typing indicator in the next release of iOS 6. Second alternative is jailbreak your apple device and install tweak called "TypingPrivacy". Jailbreak is legal modification of phone but Apple Inc. will not responsible for any issues occur in jailbroken device. TypingPrivacy simply just provide an option to disable the typing notification.

In short, Apple Inc. have to provide full flexibility in privacy settings by thinking on the perspective of user to look on the problem directly.

Picture shown that an option to disable Typing Notification

Image Source:

iPhoneHacks, (2013), TypingPrivacy [ONLINE]. Available at: http://cdn.iphonehacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/typingprivacy.jpg [Accessed 15 April 13].

Citation & Reference:

Apple - iOS 6 - Messages with iMessage, for unlimited texting.. 2013. Apple - iOS 6 - Messages with iMessage, for unlimited texting. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.apple.com/ios/messages/. [Accessed 15 April 2013].

Jeff Benjamin. 2013. TypingPrivacy prevents iMessage users from seeing when you type. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2013/02/19/typingprivacy-prevents-imessage-users-from-seeing-when-you-type/. [Accessed 15 April 13].

Alex Heath. 2013. Unlocking A New iPhone Is Now Illegal, But Jailbreaking Is Still Safe - What It All Means For You Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/213144/unlocking-a-new-iphone-is-now-illegal-but-jailbreaking-is-still-safe-what-it-all-means-for-you/#kqFVDUB7W7x1CHAc.99 . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cultofmac.com/213144/unlocking-a-new-iphone-is-now-illegal-but-jailbreaking-is-still-safe-what-it-all-means-for-you/. [Accessed 15 April 13].

Bypassing passcode lock in iOS 6

Passcode lock is the feature that protect privacy information of user in the apple device such as iPod, iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini. User is required to input their passcode in order to access their device. Passcode are set in the form of 4 digits or longer alphanumeric characters. Apple allow user to lock their device remotely, erase data or disable input passcode after several wrong tries.

Passcode is designed to provide maximum protection for the user privacy, but, in iOS 6, user found out that passcode can be bypassed easily in all iPhone devices. After bypassing the passcode, it allow unauthorized party to access contact, call and photo.

This issue is caused by the security flaw in the iOS 6 itself. iOS 6.0.1, 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 can be bypassed using same method toward all iPhone devices. While iOS 6.1.3 need to use another method to bypassed all iPhone devices except iPhone 5. Those method using bug in making emergency call which means iPad and iPod are not affected since they cannot make any calls.

Picture shown the method to bypass iOS 6.1.3 in iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s

Image source:

Kyle, (2013), The iPhone passcode can still be bypassed after the iOS 6.1.3 update [ONLINE]. Available at: http://cdn.gsmarena.com/pics/13/03/ios-631-bypass/gsmarena_001.jpg [Accessed 24 April 13].

This issue created a huge downside for user. Unauthorized party can steal user's phone and access to their personal information. Personal information included bank account, contact number and voice mail. All these information are important and can be used by unauthorized party. In addition, those bypassing method demonstrating video are uploaded over Internet, means that more people knows how to bypass the passcode now.

To solve the problem complete, Apple Inc. must have improve their security of iOS 6 and block all passcode bug of all iPhone devices in next release of iOS 6 or 7. Since user personal information is the most valuable asset than everything, Apple Inc. should put their utmost effort in defending access of authorized party to the phone.

Picture shown that how to disable the bug in affected Apple Device.

Image Source:

Graham Cluley, (2013), Turn of voice dial option [ONLINE]. Available at: http://sophosnews.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/voice-dial-option1.jpg?w=640 [Accessed 24 April 13]

For iOS 6.1.3, Apple has successfully blocked the passcode bug for iPhone 5 but not older iPhones. iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s are still vulnerable in this security bug. The only alternative is turned the voice dial off in those vulnerable devices that install iOS 6.1.3.

In short, a smartphone contain a lot of privacy information of the user that should be listed as the main priority of Apple Security Department. Their professional is to keep iPhone safe from unauthorized access since user's privacy is the most concern.

Citation/ Reference:

iOS: Understanding passcodes. 2013. iOS: Understanding passcodes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4113. [Accessed 24 April 2013].

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Graham Cluley. 2013. iOS 6.1.3 security flaw allows passcode lock bypass... again [VIDEO]. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/03/21/ios-6-1-3-passcode-lock-bypass/. [Accessed 24 April 13].

Mohit Kumar. 2013. How to bypass iOS 6.1.2 Screen Lock, another Exploit Exposed. [ONLINE] Available at: http://thehackernews.com/2013/02/how-to-bypass-ios-612-screen-lock.html. [Accessed 24 April 13].