iPhone X facial recognition could give cops easy access to your cell
While the convenience of not having to lift a finger to unlock a phone is being touted as a selling point by Apple, the potential for privacy invasion at the hands of police has people worried.
Police require a warrant to unlock and check your phone, but they don’t need one to compel you to use your fingerprint to unlock it.
In 2014, a Virginia judge ruled police could force users to unlock their phones using their fingerprints. In February 2016, a judge in Los Angeles signed a search warrant to make a woman unlock her iPhone with her fingerprint.
Due to Fifth Amendment protections around self-incrimination in the US, police can’t force a person to give over their passcode, as it’s considered “knowledge.” A fingerprint or a face, however, is a different scenario.
The latest Apple operating system update, iOS 11, is said to come with a ‘cop button’ option for users to disable the Touch ID by hitting the power button five times. This was designed to allow people to dial 911 in emergencies, but it can be used as a quick way to disable Touch ID.
It’s not known, however, if this will also work for Face ID, which would, in theory, allow someone to disable the face recognition just before the police come over.