Apple’s New “Cop Button” Quickly Disables Touch ID When You’re in a Sticky Situation
Too many reports of law enforcement and border control agents forcing iPhone users to press that Touch ID? Forever the flag bearer of user security and privacy (except for when it comes to China), Apple is apparently introducing an easy way to quickly disable Touch ID and contact emergency services with its next mobile operating system version, iOS 11.
This new setting (being called a "cop button") is currently in beta and seems to be designed as a way to automate emergency service calls, as well. With this new feature, if a user taps the power button five times, the phone will disable the Touch ID and will present an option to call 911. Touch ID won't unlock your iPhone after this until you enter your passcode.
iOS 11 is a game-changer for Touch ID. Press power button rapidly 5 times and it opens the 2nd screen, but it also forces passphrase entry! pic.twitter.com/uvWbM04lyk
— Kia☆ (@alt_kia) August 17, 2017
Expected to be released next month, iOS 11 is currently being tested by developers and Apple fans. The Verge first reported this "iOS 11 cop button", which appears to be a super quick way to disable Touch ID when you think you might be physically forced to unlock your smartphone. While this feature won't be able to get you out of all such situations - for one, border control agents are increasingly forcing travelers to unlock their phones and are even threatening to detain them - it certainly looks like an easy way to avoid someone from forcing your fingerprint to unlock your phone.
Currently, if you have to disable the iPhone's Touch ID, you need to go to settings and restart your phone before being prompted for the passcode. This iOS 11 cop button is a quicker way to not only temporarily disable Touch ID but also to contact emergency services.