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IOS 11 has a 'cop button' to temporarily disable Touch ID

18 August, 2017, 10:47 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • Some adjustments to the iPhone 8's design

With plenty of controversy surrounding the rights of citizens and the legal implications of police forcing individuals to unlock their phones with their fingerprints - or even using a person's prints against their will - it's an extremely powerful feature. This doesn't automatically dial the emergency services by default, but it brings up the option to and also temporarily disables Touch ID until you enter a passcode.

Apple has added a new security and privacy focused feature to the latest revision of iOS.

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.

Dark mode
Dark mode

This new setting (being called a "cop button") is now in beta and seems to be designed as a way to automate emergency service calls, as well.

Apple is slated to release iOS 11 to all users this fall, but with the public beta available for anyone to try, some previously unannounced features have been discovered.

For better perspective, the system used to earlier disable the Touch ID temporarily when an iOS device restarted or when you didn't place the finger correctly on the device few times consecutively. 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. Flash Forward creator Rose Eveleth reported, that the police had approached a professor at Michigan State to create a 3D model of a murder victim's fingerprint to access his locked phone. This will be particularly useful in situations when a user is anxious that someone might force them to unlock their iPhone by using the fingerprint sensor.

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