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Apple Adds New Touch ID Option in iOS 11

Posted on September 18, 2017

Since the addition of the fingerprint reader to the iPhone, the convenience of Touch ID has been hard to deny. From unlocking our phones to instantly authorizing an in-app purchase, it’s a rapid and convenient way to authenticate yourself to your device. Now with iOS 11 just around the corner, Apple has been dropping many announcements about what will be a part of the new operating system. Meanwhile, developers have discussed what they’ve experienced in the beta builds. One of the most exciting recent developments is the news that Apple will simplify the process for disabling Touch ID.

Rather than fiddling with settings or scanning the wrong finger over and over, users can now quickly enable the “emergency SOS” mode, which forces the phone into password-only mode. As a result, your fingerprints will not affect the reader. What’s the value in disabling the reader like this?

The answer is simple: personal privacy. With increasingly intrusive border checks, for example, it is not uncommon for an individual to be asked to unlock their device for authorities. However, the authorities cannot compel you to hand over the password to your device — they can only tell you to unlock it with your fingerprint. The same applies concerning the police, especially by the roadside. Protecting your privacy from unreasonable searches is a right you have, and Apple continues to demonstrate a commitment to a user’s ability to decide if they want to allow access to others.

To access the new feature in iOS 11, users will only need to press the power button five times in a rapid sequence to bring up the new “Emergency SOS” slider. Activating the slider will put the phone into emergency mode, which will fully disable TouchID until you enter the password and turn off the emergency mode. Whether you’re traveling overseas or domestically, consider the value inherent in this new privacy feature. With the ease of use inherent in this new feature, it’s a good sign that Apple continues to look for new ways to secure its devices and protect your privacy.

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