Monday, October 1, 2018

Forcing Suspect to Unlock iPhone With Face ID

Tim Hardwick:

A Forbes report has highlighted the first known case of law enforcement forcing a suspect to unlock an iPhone using Face ID.


Several previous cases have occurred where law enforcement has gained access to digital data by forcing people to unlock mobile devices using their fingers. One case even reportedly involved trying to use the finger of a dead person to unlock a phone, which ultimately didn’t work.

Previously: Police Can Require Cellphone Fingerprint.

Update (2018-10-15): Tim Hardwick:

Police in the United States are being advised not to look at iPhone screens secured with Face ID, because doing so could disable facial authentication and leave investigators needing a potentially harder-to-obtain passcode to gain access.

Update (2019-01-15): Juli Clover:

Law enforcement officials can’t force smartphone users to unlock their devices using fingerprints or other biometric features such as facial recognition, according to a Northern California court ruling from last week.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

This is why it's helpful that some combination of (a) relatively recent iOS and (b) iPhone X allows a really quick way to force use of passcode, without having to shut down: Press and hold (sufficiently long) simultaneously: (1) side button and (2) lower volume button. You'll see the screen with Slide to power off; Medical ID, and Emergency SOS. If you cancel that screen, it requires your passcode to go further.

That requires too many steps. Try this:

Press the power button 5 times in succession, and it will require the passcode.

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