Police Told to Avoid Looking at iPhone Screens Locked With Face ID

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    Face ID on iPhone X and iPhone XS attempts to authenticate a face up to five times before the feature is disabled and the user's passcode is required to unlock the smartphone.

    Elcomsoft presentation slide talking about Face ID (image via Motherboard)

    Given the way the security system works, Motherboard reports that forensics company Elcomsoft is advising law enforcement, "don't look at the sceen, or else... the same thing will occur as happened [at] Apple's event."

    The note appears on a slide belonging to an Elcomsoft presentation on iOS forensics, and refers to Apple's 2017 presentation of Face ID, in which Apple VP Craig Federighi tried and failed to unlock an iPhone X with his own face, before the device asked for a passcode instead.

    Apple later explained that the iPhone locked after several people backstage interacted with it ahead of Federighi, causing it to require a passcode to unlock.

    The advice follows a recent report of the first known case of law enforcement forcing a suspect to unlock an iPhone using Face ID. The action subsequently helped police uncover evidence that was later used to charge the suspect with receiving and possessing child pornography.

    In the United States, forcing someone to give up a password is interpreted as self-incrimination, which is protected by the Fifth Amendment, but courts have ruled that there's a difference between a biometric recognition system like Touch ID and a passcode that you type into your phone.

    In some cases, police have gained access to digital data by forcing people to unlock mobile devices using their fingers. Indeed, before Face ID was in use, law enforcement was advised how it could avoid locking Touch ID fingerprint-based authentication on Apple's iPhones. [*]How to Quickly Disable Touch ID and Face ID on an iPhone"With Touch ID, you have to press the button (or at least touch it)," Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Motherboard. "That's why we always recommend (on our trainings) to use the power button instead, e.g to see whether the phone is locked. But with Face ID, it is easier to use 'accidentally' by simply looking at the phone."

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Police Told to Avoid Looking at iPhone Screens Locked With Face ID
  2. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Would be nice to have an anti-law enforcement feature that makes it as easy as possible to completely lock out any law enforcement official.
  3. flyingspur macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2013
    Dallas TX
    Side button and volume up or down button a couple seconds, Face ID disabled.
  4. melliflu macrumors newbie


    Mar 15, 2010
    I disabled all security check on my Iphone. With no passwords, no Face ID, I'm saving so many seconds and if I forget my phone somewhere it can be easily returned to me.
    My private data is not worse than average and I have nothing to hide.
    With my "unsecured" Iphone 6s, I have a faster reaction time than any 2018 Iphone with Face ID on.
  5. bryce13950 macrumors newbie


    Jun 13, 2016
    Just say "Hey Siri, who's phone is this?"
  6. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    Assuming you have time to do that. Try reaching your hand into your pocket when a cop says “stop” or “freeze”
  7. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    The only reason my mom has her phone returned to her was because she had it locked and used Find My iPhone - the young kid who stole it quickly realized with it locked that he couldn’t resell it - with a completely open device it is easily resold and I can’t imagine you’d ever get it back.
  8. TheTruth101 Suspended

    Mar 15, 2017
    The police just need to check the Reddits of "Jealousy Girlfriends" to find all the ways to disable an iPhone.
  9. Velok macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2018
    So, if a scammer finds you phone, he can easily misuse your phone in his scamming attempts. Much easier to social engineer someone at at your bank etc when they can call from your number. Plus full access to emails+++

    That you don’t have anything to hide might be the least important factor when you consider wether to secure your phone or not.

    Enjoy the milliseconds you save compared to faceID; you will need them all (and more) when you’re cleaning up after a scammer that got to your phone.
  10. Star Wars Man macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2018
    Sounds like having a password is safer than having Face ID activated
  11. MrJeffreyGee macrumors regular


    Apr 20, 2009
    Criminal or not, it's always a good idea to disable Face/Touch ID at border crossings, TSA, & police stoppings, which can be done very quickly by pressing the power button 5 times really fast.
  12. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Sure, reaching into your pocket while being arrested couldn't go wrong in any way. o_O
  13. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Face ID has only been out a year, less than a year actually.

    How often does this really come up? I mean are there that many situations where “bad people” using expensive new iPhones are trying to lock law enforcement out?
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You need a passcode to enable either TouchID or FaceID. Your passcode can be four or six or any number of digits, or any combinations of digits and letters so you can make it as fast as you like. But a 15 mixed digit and letter password is an absolute pain even though it is very, very safe. That's where TouchID or FaceID help: They vastly reduce how often you need to enter the passcode or password, so you can have a safer password with much less inconvenience.
  15. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    Or as I call it, “picking it up”.
  16. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Apple has essentially borked biometric authentication by implementing FaceID. Clearly it's pretty much worthless as a trustworthy security feature. So now it's back to entering 7 digit passcodes every damn time. Little did we ever suspect that the constant whining to minimize the bezels would lead to this.
    The iPhone is de-evolving.
  17. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    That’s so ridiculous, I don’t even know where to begin.
  18. dmylrea macrumors 68030


    Sep 27, 2005
    FaceID isn't trustworthy for who? Criminals?
  19. TrulsZK macrumors member


    May 1, 2018
    If Find my iPhone is activated you can still not reset the iPhone (even if it is not locked with a passcode / FaceID/TouchID) as the iPhone is still associated with that Apple ID.
    Of corse you can do everything with the iPhone you want, other then sign out of iCloud or reset it, obviously resetting the iPhone using a computer will give the same result as if the iPhone had been locker prior to resetting it.
    That said I never recommend having an iPhone without a strong passcode
  20. Cyberpower678 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2015
    Good luck with that. Someone finds that phone unlocked, they just pocketed themselves an iPhone they can wipe and claim as their own or resell.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 14, 2018 ---
    Do it as they approach before they say freeze. But if you suspect you're about to be busted by a cop, disable FaceID entirely.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 14, 2018 ---
    Not necessarily. Assume iCloud email is registered on the mail app, or password to their email is saved in iCloud's keychain. Go to Apple.com->iForgot->type in email. Password reset gets sent to email, and thief can now alter the password of the account. Now Find My iPhone can be disabled and the phone can be wiped without a security block when re-activating the phone. Phone is now forever lost to the original owner, all because it was not secure, as well as email account compromised, apple account compromised, and whatever else accounts are saved on that phone.
  21. sinsin07, Oct 14, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018

    sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    While you're waiting for Apple to make an official method, some clever person/people came up with this Shortcut:
    Based on what MacRumors member rjtyork posted it does the following:
    "Just by saying “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over”, Siri will pause your music, turn on do not disturb, send your location and a message to pre-determined contacts, dim your screen, start recording video from your front camera, upload that video to iCloud Drive or google drive, and send the video to any contacts you choose."
  22. ke-iron macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2014
    Only thing is this doesn’t work on the new iPhones, not sure if it’s a bug or Apple changed it. At least it doesn’t work on my iPhone XS Max.
  23. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    LOL! Apparently, lots of miscreants populate MacRumors, with an overriding concern about police search and seizure.

    There, I fix it:
    "MacRumors, News and Rumors that Miscreants Care About" /s
  24. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    You watch to much TV. :D
  25. predation macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
    Bad people tend to buy expensive things

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