What is Apple doing with your spam?

Fanboys and girls already love Apple for its dazzling array of life-changing tech toys.

Now they may have yet another reason to worship and adore the Cupertino company: spam eradication!

According to Appleinsider, Apple may be marshaling its troops to help clean up our Inboxes of unwanted e-mails:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application describing a system that thwarts spam mail by automatically generating and handling “disposable” email addresses, all while being transparent to the end user.

That, of course, is music to our ears. So is this:

According to Apple’s patent filing, suitably titled “Disposable email address generation and mapping to a regular email account,” the integrated system would work at the server level to act as a screen for incoming spam mail.

But wait, there’s more! Apple may provide us with a means for VENGEANCE!

Further, these generated email accounts can be intelligently tagged with contextual clues to help users track down the source responsible for handing off the address to a spam provider.

And Business Insider offers these helpful tips:


Apple’s system would fight junk email at the server level, allowing you to teach the server some cool anti-spam tricks.

For example, your main first-name-last-name email address could be kept safe under Apple’s system by generating a disposable email address and giving that out instead of your main email. The disposable address is mapped to your main account, so emails sent to it would appear in your main account without any extra steps. Any replies you send would show up as having come from the disposable account.

So with Apple’s help, we all may soon be able to thrive in a cleaner and saner world of online correspondence we actually want to partake in.

Credit: blog.domainname.com




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  • DaveN

    Oh great. The next thing they will do is eliminate AdWords. Where is the joy in the internet without advertising and spam?

  • dlwatib

    This should not be heralded as good news. Both linked email accounts and temporary email accounts have been available for years. I would venture to guess that there is nothing non-obvious and inventive about the Apple patent and it should therefore not be granted. If granted and found to be enforceable it would give Apple a monopoly over an obvious spam reducing/spam tracing technology that ought to be freely available to all.

    • DaveN

      Have you read Apple’s patent application. You are free to challenge the application if you can prove your accusations.

    • retiredinboyntonbeach

      How would you have ventured to guess about the novelty of the iPod or iPhone based on some non-technical description of one or more of the pertinent patents? Remember, most pundits had no clue about how either of those would turn out in reality based on initial announcements about the products.

    • billyricky

      Not good news? Are you a major spammer or something? Have you tried to use disposable email addresses? They’re really inconvenient, and can’t do half of what this patent covers. There is so much here that’s new (if it works as stated), that I could see many email services trying to license this patent from Apple to incorporate into their own servers. Except Google, of course, who will try to steal it.

      • yacker01

        No, he not a major spammer, he is a troll!

    • Alex

      I agree with dlwatlib’s general point. Working in software dev, I see patents being put together and many things that get patented should never see the light of day. We in software have a serious problem with patents, which have become political, legal, and financial tools rather than “invention”.

  • cis

    Good news would be getting rid of unwanted and unsolicited pop up ads as I try to read my screen. It’s obnoxious and intrusive. I’m not blaming AAPL because this is ubiquitous no matter what platform you use.

  • dclaar

    dlwatib stole my lines! People have been doing this for at least two decades–heck, I’ve been doing it at least that long! And I can tell you that the vengeance part isn’t going to work, at least against large scale offenders, although scale might help there.

    Go to any company. Tell them “I’m getting spam to an email address that only you have”. They will swear that it wasn’t them. They will not look for a hole in their system; They will thank you and close the ticket–if, in fact, they even open one. Ask me how I know…(see the part about “I’ve been doing it…”)