iOS 11 has a new feature to lock down your phone's Touch ID from prying law enforcement...

By William Gayde ยท 11 replies
Aug 17, 2017
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  1. Apple has added a new security and privacy focused feature to the latest revision of iOS. By pressing the power button five times in quick succession, a new menu will open up. This new setting will allow users to quickly reach emergency services and also temporarily disable Touch ID. It won't automatically dial 911, but it will bring up the option in case of an emergency. The feature was discovered by Twitter users and is being called the "cop button" since it appears to have been designed for law enforcement encounters. After enabling the feature, the phone will require a passcode to unlock.

    Previously, if you wanted to turn off Touch ID you had to go through a long and complicated process. This involved waiting days for the phone to prompt you for a passcode, if purposefully locking the phone out with a bad fingerprint, or going through the settings process of disabling it. With this update, the setting is easily accessible. Given Apple's previous stance supporting user encryption and privacy from law enforcement, this seems aimed at helping users who may be forced into unlocking their phones.

    There have been reports of police 3D printing fingers to unlock phones. With increased security checkpoints at borders and the likely introduction of facial recognition, Apple wants a quick way to ensure only a device's true owner can unlock the phone and only when they want it unlocked. Assuming you have time to do the five button presses, this update should remove the threat of being forced to unlock your phone.

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  2. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 886   +434

    Especially since state and federal courts have been trying to classify biometric data as unprotected by the 5th amendment - which allows you t refuse to surrender electronic passwords/unlock codes.
    Reehahs and Darth Shiv like this.
  3. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    Or, you could simply not use fingerprint recognition. It's not compulsory.
    And what's so hard about turning it off? Settings - TouchId & Passcode - off. No need to wait days.
    Or, just turn the phone off - that requires the passcode.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. imronburgundy

    imronburgundy TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +25

    The whole point is that in 1 sec you can lock up your phone if you suspect you're about to be under duress from over zealous border patrol/cops etc. If you've ever shut down an iPhone, it's not that quick of a thing. Plus, you get to keep using touch id without have to set it up again.
  5. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    If you think that you're going to be in a position at border control where they want to see your phone, and you're going to have the presence of mind and ability to pull your phone out and press the home button 5 times without their noticing, you're going to have a bad time.

    If I was a border control guard and saw that, the first thing I would thing would be, 'hey, those guys have something to hide'. I bet I could get it off you before you pressed that button 5 times and then use your finger to open it up. And if I couldn't, well, I bet I could get that passcode out of you with very little trouble. And I'm a nice guy, I haven't been in a fight since I was 12, I'm kind to animals and children. I go out of my way to help trapped insects and lizards out of my home, without harming them.

    If you refused, I bet a harassed border control guard "would not think twice before doing something so pointlessly hideous to you that you will wish you had never been born - or (if you are a clearer minded thinker) that the [border control guard] had never been born" and you'd be handing that code over and thanking them for the privilege of allowing you to do so.
  6. imronburgundy

    imronburgundy TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +25

    or you just discreetly push the button 5 times in your pocket with border patrol unaware of what's even going on...
  7. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Addict Posts: 198   +118

    Fingerprints - unlike passcode - aren't protected by the 5th Amendment.

    If cops want into your phone and you're dead, all they need to do is touch your finger to it and open it up.

    I'd say that what we really need is a feature that erases all content if we touch the phone with a "doomsday finger"

    Imagine that I use my left pinky as the doomsday finger and my index fingers/thumbs as normal entry fingers.

    BY THE WAY: if I die suddenly, you have full permission to take my computers, ipads, Bitcoin miners, laptops, and My Cloud servers HARD DRIVES and set them on fire in my metal garbage can in my backyard. You can keep the actual machine...but just burn the HDD.

    I have a full gas can out there for you to use.
  8. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 78   +38

    They are customs officers, not jedi

    Unless you can assure me your lightning reflexes and take it off my hand in less than 2 seconds on the way from my pocket to my face, then I wish you good luck.
    And no, you couldn't get the passcode from my head given that they're, again, US Customs officers, not CIA agents. They can deny you entrance to the States and they can definitely ban you for a lifetime. And, unless you're trying to smuggle weapons or denote your intention to be a terrorist, I don't think you can take anyone to take those famous "enhanced interrogation practices" that some branches of the government use.

    Also, I don't thiknk that you're so much of a good soul as you say you are... your ideas about interrogating someone are a little twisted.

    No, they can deny you entrance, ban you or deport you, pretty much.

    Ok, stop it right there. Unless you're telling me that by entering the States I automatically get, free health care, free food stamps, free education and free housing, then you're plain wrong.

    In my case, when I go to the States is either for work related issues or shopping/touristing and since both activities seem mutually beneficial I don't see it as a privilege.

    Bottom line is, is not about having anything to hide, is about having your right to privacy intact.

    I wouldn't like for some guy and his colleagues to read my very private conversation with my wife. Hell, might go as far as sexting with pictures intended only for me.

    I wouldn't like for some guy and his colleagues to know that I don't support Trump and be denied entrance just for that.

    I wouldn't like for some guy and his colleagues to read my thoughts about depression or some other personal information with my psychologist.

    For me, privacy is about that.
  9. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    Well if I was such a person (and I am emphatically not) and that was a concern, I think it would be easier all round to just not use fingerprint recognition.
  10. Mike89

    Mike89 TS Booster Posts: 46   +15

    Oh great, another protection from Apple that will protect you if you are terrorist. Remember though folks, if you are a terrorist, Apple will protect you, BUT if it has to do with copyright infringement, Apple will give you up in a second.
  11. flyboydale54

    flyboydale54 TS Rookie

    There is no protection, except for Mission Impossible technique. Press the button three times and the phone will self-destruct. Now when Apple comes up with that, I will consider my phone and my rights protected from law enforcement!!! The expression on the cops faces would be priceless watching it go up in smoke.
  12. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 100   +55

    When you say 'plain wrong' I think you think I mean, when I say 'and thanking them for the privilege of allowing you to do' that I mean you're grateful to the BG's for letting you in to the wonderful USA. I don't mean that, I mean thanking them for the privilege of handing over your unlocked phone rather than the alternative they graphically describe to you.

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