Inside iOS 11: New security feature allows users to temporarily disable Touch ID, quickly ...

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
Apple's iOS 11 includes a new security feature, with a few button presses making it impossible to unlock your phone with Touch ID, as well as giving a quick option to dial 911. Here's how to use it.



Editor's note: this article was first run in June during the iOS 11 beta process. It has been updated to reflect the official release of the operating system.

The new iOS 11 feature might allow iPhone owners who find themselves in a dangerous situation to ensure their phone cannot be forcefully unlocked with a fingerprint. It will also make it easier to contact emergency services if the person is in danger or threatened.

To access it, in iOS 11, a user must just press the lock/power button five times quickly. Pressing five times does not automatically dial 911, but it presents the user with an option to do so.

The new security feature also temporarily disables Touch ID, requiring users to enter a passcode to unlock their device. This would prevent a would-be thief or attacker from forcing a user's fingerprint onto the iPhone's home button to unlock it.

Previously, a user would need to completely restart their phone, or to purposefully attempt to unlock multiple times with an unrecognized finger, to have a password be required on demand.

For more on the new features included with iOS 11, see AppleInsider's ongoing Inside iOS 11 series.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    5 times are too many. I'd prefer to press it 3 times. 
    lostkiwimontrosemacs
  • Reply 2 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,886member
    I rather Apple to fix problem with IOS to disassociate device from apple-id account when customer drops device from his/her credentials to sell to someone by removing passcode,turn-off "find my iPhone" to remove from iCloud,and than complete reset of device.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,692member
    I'm glad I tested this. I don't want my name and other details listed under Medical ID when someone presses the Sleep button 5x fast. I also don't want any messages showing up on the lock screen when Touch ID isn't enabled, but I really dislike that it won't access contacts but instead list the phone number or email address of the sender ("Bob sent you a message" contains less information than "1-718-555-1234 has sent you a message").
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Interesting. I wonder if this is a response to police pulling over people and getting them to use their finger print. If police pull you over now you can press this 5 times and not have to worry about having them make you use your finger...
  • Reply 5 of 18
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member
    brad6788 said:
    Interesting. I wonder if this is a response to police pulling over people and getting them to use their finger print. If police pull you over now you can press this 5 times and not have to worry about having them make you use your finger...
    Where is this happening at? Never heard of such a thing. 
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 6 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,692member
    brad6788 said:
    Interesting. I wonder if this is a response to police pulling over people and getting them to use their finger print. If police pull you over now you can press this 5 times and not have to worry about having them make you use your finger…
    I'd still like a "poison finger" option that will disable Touch ID, disable all lock screen messages, send calls to VM, and disable Control Center until you input your passcode again. These should be default states before you input your passcode to enable Touch ID, IMO.
    jony0beowulfschmidtanton zuykovmontrosemacsurahara
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Pressing 5 times on my iPhone (iOS11 beta 6) gives a 3 sec countdown to call emergency services. I don't get the option to to call them or power off the device. It does however disable touchid.

    Edit: Stand down, I have auto-call enabled.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 8 of 18
    getvoxoa said:
    5 times are too many. I'd prefer to press it 3 times. 
    No, it'd be better if you had to do a "shave and a haircut" tap dance on the button...
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 9 of 18
    brad6788 said:
    Interesting. I wonder if this is a response to police pulling over people and getting them to use their finger print. If police pull you over now you can press this 5 times and not have to worry about having them make you use your finger...
    Where is this happening at? Never heard of such a thing. 


    U.S. Courts have decided that, while a password is protected by the Fourth Amendment prohibition against the government forcing one to incriminate oneself, fingerprints are not.  The police can forcibly take your fingerprints in other circumstances, such as being arrested, and the courts have extended that to the authority to unlock one's phone.  Note that this does not mean that police have the authority to search one's phone at any time, only that the same circumstances that permit taking fingerprints also allow using a fingerprint to unlock a phone.  Such a search still requires a warrant or immediate probably cause.

    This is one of the reasons TouchID does not unlock my phone. :)

  • Reply 10 of 18
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 169member
    I'd prefer having the 5-click feature work as described but have an option for 6-clicks do the SOS auto-dial.

    I can see cases where you might often want to surreptitiously lock your phone, while still having the option of making the emergency services call. And if you want to make the emergency services call, you probably don't want to be fiddling with a slider on the iPhone's screen.

    Nor even, perhaps, would you have the time to do so.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    This has additional implications if Apple implements facial recognition for unlocking phones. Without this anyone could unlock your phone just be pointing it at to your face, even without your cooperation. With this it would disable this and revert to a password only unlock mechanism.

    It seems incredible to me that a passcode is protected but physical biometric locks (fingerprint or facial recognition) are not protected. Anything to do with an individuals identity should be protected!
  • Reply 12 of 18
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,161member
    getvoxoa said:
    5 times are too many. 
    Not at all. How ridiculous. And since triple-tap is available in iOS for other functions, it makes sense not to use it for an emergency function where it could easily be accidentally invoked.

    You probably can't operate a stopwatch fast enough to measure the time 'cost' when activating a extra two clicks or the time 'saved' by not having click two more times.

    Familiarize yourself with the procedure and it's a piece o' cake.

  • Reply 13 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,039member
    krreagan2 said:
    This has additional implications if Apple implements facial recognition for unlocking phones. Without this anyone could unlock your phone just be pointing it at to your face, even without your cooperation. With this it would disable this and revert to a password only unlock mechanism.
    I don't understand how this would prevent it. If you have to physically do something to your phone, to prevent it from auto-unlocking via facial recognition (or authorizing a payment, etc.) isn't it already too late?
  • Reply 14 of 18
    And wounded person or person in emergency like crushed by heavy object will reach for phone and count number of pushes on the button. Has any of design team been in emergency situation or thionks that emergency is ducking and watching while navigating phone buttons and pushes? Get some real training with police to know reality of situations (I did).
    cgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 18
    plovellplovell Posts: 795member
    Soli said:
    I'm glad I tested this. I don't want my name and other details listed under Medical ID when someone presses the Sleep button 5x fast. I also don't want any messages showing up on the lock screen when Touch ID isn't enabled, but I really dislike that it won't access contacts but instead list the phone number or email address of the sender ("Bob sent you a message" contains less information than "1-718-555-1234 has sent you a message").
    Your opinion might change if you were in a car wreck. Or had a heart attack or stroke.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    cgWerks said:
    krreagan2 said:
    This has additional implications if Apple implements facial recognition for unlocking phones. Without this anyone could unlock your phone just be pointing it at to your face, even without your cooperation. With this it would disable this and revert to a password only unlock mechanism.
    I don't understand how this would prevent it. If you have to physically do something to your phone, to prevent it from auto-unlocking via facial recognition (or authorizing a payment, etc.) isn't it already too late?
    I don't think there is a perfect solution, but this is a step in the right direction.  You're waiting in line to go through customs at the airport (where you're worried that they may want to access your phone); tap the "power" button 5 times and your privacy is a little more secure.  A mugger says hand over your phone; while pulling it out of your pocket you tap the button 5 times.  Frankly, these scenarios are pretty far fetched for the average consumer, so Apple isn't making a big deal out of this.  If they wanted to, they would include more options for the more paranoid/security conscious.  This seems to be a nice balance between including an option and having other people activate it accidentally.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    And wounded person or person in emergency like crushed by heavy object will reach for phone and count number of pushes on the button. Has any of design team been in emergency situation or thionks that emergency is ducking and watching while navigating phone buttons and pushes? Get some real training with police to know reality of situations (I did).
    How is the number of button presses relevant in that scenario?  After they press it 5 times, they still can't see the screen to do the next step in the process.

    Personally, I might try "hey siri, call 911."  Or I'd try to pick up the phone and use it normally.  I suspect "make an iPhone useful when the person can't see or use the screen--and can't use Siri" is pretty low on the Apple priority list.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,039member
    randominternetperson said:
    I don't think there is a perfect solution, but this is a step in the right direction.  You're waiting in line to go through customs at the airport (where you're worried that they may want to access your phone); tap the "power" button 5 times and your privacy is a little more secure.  A mugger says hand over your phone; while pulling it out of your pocket you tap the button 5 times.  Frankly, these scenarios are pretty far fetched for the average consumer, so Apple isn't making a big deal out of this.  If they wanted to, they would include more options for the more paranoid/security conscious.  This seems to be a nice balance between including an option and having other people activate it accidentally.
    Yes, I assume that's what the feature is for. If you get pounced on, or the black helicopters show up, then you're probably out of luck. That said, I use Touch ID, so I'm compromised in that manner. Where I probably disagree, is how important this is going to be in the coming years. When things move from 'bad guys' to more and more average citizens being hauled off... it's a feature we're going to want to disable.

    randominternetperson said:
    How is the number of button presses relevant in that scenario?  After they press it 5 times, they still can't see the screen to do the next step in the process.

    Personally, I might try "hey siri, call 911."  Or I'd try to pick up the phone and use it normally.  I suspect "make an iPhone useful when the person can't see or use the screen--and can't use Siri" is pretty low on the Apple priority list.
    I suppose I agree, except that there wasn't really a great reason to remove Touch ID. Fortunately, we're only talking one high-end (and rather silly, IMO) phone model at this point. My fear is that in a few years, Touch ID will be completely gone across the line. But, in light of what I said above, maybe it's all a moot point anymore.
Sign In or Register to comment.