Apple’s iOS 11 Has A Hidden ‘Stick It To The Man’ Feature

08.17.17 2 years ago

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Apple, especially recently, has found itself at odds with law enforcement over security and safety. In some cases, that has been a very public battle, but for the most part Apple has preferred to quietly upgrade your privacy. The latest silent upgrade, though, is bold — even by Apple standards — as it simultaneously lets you call the police without unlocking your phone, while simultaneously making it harder for the police to crack it.

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. That’s neat in of itself, but what’s interesting is that this simultaneously disables Touch ID, making a passcode the only way to access your phone. Legally, you can be forced by police to unlock your phone with Touch ID, but you can’t be forced to give up your passcode.

Is this intentional? Perhaps not, and it seems unlikely this will slip past without at least some objection on the part of authorities, either when it arrives or when authorities run afoul of it. But with Apple’s increasing interest in Touch ID, it appears they’re also taking steps to limit any potential misuse, criminal or otherwise.

(via The Verge)

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