It appears that an interesting new patent by Research In Motion is circulating the internet this morning – oddly enough it’s to do with locking down device cameras. It was big milestone when RIM first released the BlackBerry Pearl, and in doing so broke the traditional corporate mould of “cameras are not secure in certain work environments”. We all slept easy however when the IT policies on our BlackBerry Servers allowed us to lock out the ability to use to device cameras and memory cards.
Because we have the ability to action these security enhancements remotely from the BES, there’s been some confusion as to what this new patent represents. Let’s look at the patent more closely – this proposes that you have a removable key that physically locks in to the side of a BlackBerry, and when inserted the camera is prevented from working. This seems simple enough, but when we can achieve the same result remotely using the BES server IT policies, why would we want something physical that is bound to get lost or break in the process? It could be aimed at businesses that have BIS users, but generally camera paranoia only comes with huge corporate entities, so it’s unlikely RIM would physically build something to service such a small niche. Time will tell, and we’ll keep you posted.