Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Authorities can't force smartphone access in iOS 11

Authorities can't force smartphone access in iOS 11

The new feature ensures that the Touch ID is temporarily disabled only when user decides to disable it in emergency situations. This happens to be a by product of Apple's new feature that allows iOS users to quickly call 911 in case of an emergency. You might recall that Tim Cook was concerned that to meet the Government's request, Apple would have to produce a new version of iOS that he feared would end up in the wrong hands threatening the security of all iPhone users.

Currently, police can force you to use your fingerprint to unlock the phone, but they can't force you to use your password - something that has been proven by law to be protected.

The Verge reports that iOS 11 contains code that, when you hit the power button five times in a row, opens a menu on the lockscreen to call 911 or similar emergency lines. An easy way to disable Touch ID definitely fits with that theme, and it'll be interesting to see how (or if) law enforcement agencies react. Emergency SOS was introduced in watchOS 3, and aded to the iOS 11 beta in July (Emergency SOS setup instructions).

Apple has proven to be extremely bold when it comes to user privacy, refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals due to the precedent it could set for the future. Until you enter that passcode, Touch ID won't unlock your device. However, a byproduct of this quick action is disabling Touch ID unlock of the device and requiring the entry of a passcode instead. It could be a robbery, with the thief looking to acquire sensitive information stored in an iPhone, or an arrest, protecting the user from unwarranted access to the contents of their device.

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