The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published an Apple patent application that describes a method which uses automated “disposable” email addresses to curb spam. According to the patent titled “Disposable email address generation and mapping to a regular email account,” this system would work at server level to weed out any incoming spam to the user’s primary email address.
What most users do these days when signing up for an online service is create a disposable email address, one that’s entirely separate from either their personal or professional email. This helps them keep their email communications and contacts secure even if the disposable emails fall into the hands of spammers, though Apple says in its patent that this method is cumbersome at best. It has envisaged an automated system that’s capable of creating disposable addresses on its own, and when it senses that said address runs the risk of being misused by spammers, the user can easily give up the address and simply move on to a new one. The system will also be able to add context information to a disposable account, so if a user gives that account to an online service and it hands the address over to a third party, users will then be able to examine context information to find out exactly which service gave out the address to an unauthorized party. Apple first filed for this patent back in 2012 and so far this system has not been activated for end users, its not entirely clear right now if the company has any plans of doing so in the near future.
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