Touch ID

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Touch ID is Apple's iPhone and iPad biometric fingerprint recognition system, used to verify Apple Pay payments and to supplement device passcodes and in-app passwords. First introduced in 2013, Touch ID is built into the Home button of the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 3 and later, the iPad Air 2 and later, and the iPad Pro.

Touch ID is built around a capacitive touch sensor that can read and analyze sub-epidermal skin layers to identify each person's unique fingerprint to make tasks like downloading apps and unlocking iOS devices more convenient. Touch ID is available in Apple's own apps and in third-party apps, allowing users to protect sensitive data like passwords or notes with a fingerprint.

Fingerprint data used for Touch ID is stored directly on each iOS device in a "Secure Enclave" and is never accessible in the cloud.

'Touch ID' How Tos

How to Discreetly Disable Touch ID and Face ID on an iPhone in iOS 11

There's an Emergency SOS feature built into iOS 11 that has hidden functionality -- it automatically disables Touch ID and makes it so your passcode has to be entered to unlock your iPhone. Because it essentially shuts down the biometrics on your device, you can't be compelled by a police officer or malicious person to unlock your iPhone with a fingerprint, nor can your fingerprint be used to get into your device should you be unconscious after an emergency. On iPhone X, this also applies to Face ID. Emergency SOS is enabled by default, and there's only one step to activate it: Press on the sleep/wake (Side) button of your iPhone five times in rapid succession. On the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, instead of pressing the Side button five times rapidly, you hold down the Side button and one of the volume buttons at the same time. It's essentially a quick squeeze on either side of the device. These gestures initiates a screen that gives you the option to power the iPhone off, make a call to emergency services, or access your Medical ID. Though not expressly stated, once your iPhone is in this emergency state, Touch ID is disabled. You will, however, have to press the cancel button to get back to the Home screen, so it's not an entirely secretive process. If you're using Emergency SOS to disable the lock screen and don't want to set the feature up to automatically call 911 when the sleep/wake button is pressed, make sure to disable Auto Call in the Settings app. Here's how: Open the Settings app. Scroll down to Emergency SOS. Disable Auto

How to Password Protect Notes in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4

Although more prominent features like Night Shift and a few new Quick Actions are getting the spotlight with the launch of iOS 9.3, one new lesser-known update is definitely worth checking out. In iOS 9.3, Apple has improved the functionality of its first-party Notes app with the ability to add password or Touch ID security for individual notes. The feature allows users to prevent access to sensitive information on a case-by-case basis (some notes, like a shopping list, might not be as high risk), just in case someone gets past the lock screen security of the iPhone itself. With some people even using Notes to store passwords for various sites and services, Apple's security-enhanced update is well worth checking out. Creating a Password in Notes on iOS The steps needed to set up a password or Touch ID for your Notes are straight-forward and should only take a few moments to complete.

'Touch ID' Articles

Synaptics Creating In-Display Fingerprint Sensors for 'Top Five OEM'

Synaptics today announced that it has begun mass production of its Clear ID FS9500 optical in-display fingerprint sensors in partnership with a "top five" manufacturer, suggesting at least one major smartphone brand will sport in-display fingerprint sensing technology in the future. Synaptics has been working on fingerprint sensors capable of reading a fingerprint through display glass for some time now, and its first product, the Clear ID-FS9100, was announced back in late 2016. The updated Clear ID-FS9500 fingerprint sensors are designed specifically for smartphones with button-free bezel-free "infinity displays" much like the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8. Synaptics says its fingerprint sensors "magically activate" in the display when necessary, and the company believes its solution is "twice as fast as 3D facial recognition." The Synaptics fingerprint sensor works well with wet, dry, and cold fingers, and because it's located under the display glass, the sensor is scratch proof and waterproof. In response to facial recognition, which can fail at certain angles, Synaptics points out that its fingerprint solution works when a device is "sitting on the table, at any angle, or while in a car mount." Synaptics did not specify which smartphone manufacturer it is working with beyond naming a "top five" OEM, so the company's partner is a mystery. While Synaptics is a known Apple supplier that has provided Apple with display components in the past, it's likely Synaptics is referring to an Android manufacturer. Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei are all

Craig Federighi: Apple Focused on Single-User Face ID, Touch ID Was Never Intended for Multiple Users

Apple's current focus with Face ID is on single-user authentication, suggesting support for multiple faces won't be added in the near future, according to an email from the company's software engineering chief Craig Federighi. By comparison, Touch ID can store up to five fingerprints, and each of those fingerprints can belong to a different person. This allows a married couple, for example, to be able to securely authenticate a single iPhone. In an email to a customer, however, Federighi admitted that Touch ID's multi-finger support has always been intended for a single iPhone owner to authenticate with a finger or thumb on both the left and right hand if desired. Federighi added that Face ID could eventually authenticate multiple faces as the system evolves in the future, but his email makes it clear that Apple doesn't have any immediate plans to implement said functionality. MacRumors since publishing this article has received full headers that verify this email, originally shared on Reddit. We can confirm the email originates from Apple's servers at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. A screenshot of Craig Federighi's alleged email response to a customer Apple says Face ID has a one in 1,000,000 chance of a false match, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID, although the probability is higher among identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children. Vietnamese security firm Bkav has also been able to spoof Face ID twice with 3D printed masks, but the steps involved are quite complex and this isn't something the average user should be

Galaxy S9 Will Likely Still Have Rear Fingerprint Scanner as Apple Rumored to Ditch Touch ID Entirely

Samsung has decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of its next-generation Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to continued technical difficulties, according to South Korea's The Investor. Instead, the fingerprint scanner will likely remain positioned on the back of each device, just like the current Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models. Fingerprint scanning is one of three biometric options for unlocking the Galaxy S8 alongside iris scanning and facial recognition. Samsung says all three solutions provide "defense-grade security" around the clock. Shortly after the Galaxy S8 launched, however, videos surfaced showing that Samsung's facial recognition system could be fairly easily duped with a picture of someone. The iris scanner was also tricked with contact lenses. In fine print on its website, Samsung admits that its facial recognition system is "less secure than pattern, PIN, or password." Facial recognition can't be used to authenticate access to the Galaxy S8's Secure Folder or Samsung Pay. "It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder," the company told Ars Technica in March. Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but the company's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face

Apple Store App Now Supports Touch ID For Authenticating Payments With Apple ID

Apple today updated its official Apple Store shopping app with the ability to use Touch ID to securely and conveniently pay for an order with a credit card tied to an Apple ID, as well as make changes to account settings. The Apple Store app has long allowed shoppers to pay for purchases with the credit card associated with their Apple ID, but users needed to type their password for authentication. Now, users can simply use Touch ID. To pay with a credit card associated with an Apple ID at checkout, tap on the white "buy with other payment options" button. Apple said the new Apple Store app also makes its easier to see if an iPhone you want is available at an Apple Store near you. The Apple Store app is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, iPad, and Apple

TSMC Sources Claim 'iPhone 8' Will Have Touch ID Integrated into Display

Apple has successfully finalized a solution to integrate Touch ID fingerprint recognition directly into the display of its upcoming "iPhone 8", according to a new report on Friday. Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) said it spoke to sources from Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), who apparently confirmed Apple's achievement during a technology convention held in Taipei on Thursday. Among several design changes TSMC reportedly discussed at the TSMC 2017 NA Technology Symposium was the lack of a home button on the redesigned OLED iPhone, owing to Apple's use of "an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen" in the absence of a physical Home button. In addition to the fingerprint recognition, the sources claimed the new iPhones will also come with "invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of the high-pixel camera" and to enable augmented reality functions. If true, news of Apple's on-screen fingerprint recognition solution will come as a relief to watchers tracking the development of Apple's "tenth anniversary" edition iPhone. Reports that the company has been researching ways to integrate fingerprint sensors directly into screens go as far back as June 2015, but more recent sources have claimed Apple has struggled to find a solution that overcomes the production challenges involved. Specifically, Apple was said to be facing low yield issues of its in-house fingerprint sensor solution, which may have been forcing it to consider three possible alternatives: remove

Rumors Persist About Apple Placing Touch ID on Back of iPhone 8

Apple's rumored "iPhone 8" with an OLED display and wireless charging will continue to have Touch ID, but there is a "high chance" it will be on the back of the smartphone, says Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA. "iPhone 8" mockup with rear Touch ID sensor by Benjamin Geskin An excerpt from a research note distributed this week by CLSA analysts Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen:iPhone to ditch fingerprint sensor? We don’t think so. Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck. Some thus speculate the fingerprint sensor will be removed and replaced by 3D sensing. Our latest supply chain checks indicate the iPhone 8 will still have the sensor given security, user-friendliness, and a need for payments infrastructure, but there is a high chance it will be on the back like Samsung's Galaxy S8.CLSA created a diagram showing Touch ID placed slightly below the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone. Samsung included a fingerprint sensor on the back of the Galaxy S8, but some reviews found it to be awkwardly positioned next to the camera. Apple placing Touch ID lower down could make it easier to reach. The diagram also shows a vertically-aligned dual-lens camera, a widely rumored iPhone 8 feature seen in previous renders. There also appear to be additional modules next to the front-facing camera, likely for rumored 3D sensing and facial recognition functionality. Other features shown are identical to the iPhone 7. The diagram suggests

MasterCard Reveals Credit Card With Built-In Fingerprint Sensor

MasterCard today unveiled a biometric chip-and-pin credit card featuring a built-in fingerprint sensor that takes cues from mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay. The card can be used to make purchases like any other, except rather than keying in a PIN number, card holders can choose to place their finger over the square sensor to approve the transaction. Alternatively, users can take a two-tier authentication approach and use both their PIN and fingerprint to approve the purchase. However, users of the card won't have the convenience or security that comes with registering their print with their smartphone. With Apple Pay, fingerprint data is encrypted and protected with a key available only to the Secure Enclave on the user's iPhone. The Secure Enclave is walled off from the rest of the hardware and the OS, meaning iOS and other apps never have access to user fingerprint data, it's never stored on Apple servers, and never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else. The biometric credit card has no such protections. Instead, the user must register their print with the bank or financial institution that issued the card, and while the fingerprint is encrypted on the card itself, it's still unclear what security and privacy measures are in place to deal with the registration process. Despite those concerns, Mastercard's chief of safety and security, Ajay Bhalla, said that the fingerprint technology was "not something that can be taken or replicated", and that the biometric card would help "to deliver additional convenience and security". MasterCard

iPhone 8 Without Touch ID Doubtfully Called One 'Likely Option' if Apple Can't Place It Under Display

Apple may be forced to eliminate Touch ID from the tentatively named "iPhone 8" altogether if it cannot resolve issues with integrating the fingerprint sensor underneath the smartphone's display within the next month or so, according to Andy Hargreaves, equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh Hargreaves isn't the first analyst to think Apple could do away with Touch ID, but the move seems unlikely even as a last-ditch scenario. Touch ID is at the core of Apple Pay, and it appears much more likely that 3D facial or iris recognition would complement rather than replace fingerprint sensing. A more likely option fielded by Hargreaves is that Apple could delay "iPhone 8" production until its under-display fingerprint sensor solution is ready. An excerpt from his research note obtained by MacRumors:Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it's able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it's not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.At this point, Hargreaves does not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has received firm orders for production, which to him suggests

Apple is Struggling to Integrate Touch ID Under the iPhone 8's Display

Apple's supposed "biggest bottleneck" in preparing to mass produce the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display remains integrating Touch ID underneath the display, according to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri obtained by MacRumors. Arcuri, citing his own "field work" within the supply chain, said the current yield of Apple's in-house AuthenTec-based fingerprint sensor solution is low, while noting that Apple seems unwilling to use an outside solution at this time. If Apple cannot resolve these yield issues, he sees three different scenarios: • Apple removes Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and relies solely on facial/iris recognition. Arcuri said this is unlikely, as it's not secure enough, risky, and would potentially create issues with Apple Pay. • Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but in a different place than the one on the Galaxy S8, which can be hard to reach. Arcuri said this would not be a user-friendly or optimal solution to say the least. • Apple delays production of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but still announces the device in early September alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.Arcuri said Apple is aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification by May, but if its in-house AuthenTec-based solution is not feasible due to yield issues, mass production of the tentatively named "iPhone 8" could be delayed until September, compared to its usual late July to August timeframe. Arcuri still expects Apple to announce the 5.8-inch iPhone alongside updated 4.7-inch

Apple Has a Redesigned Fingerprint ID Solution For the iPhone 8

Apple is set to feature its own in-house developed integrated fingerprint ID technology in the OLED version of its next iPhone, according to a new report out on Friday. Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" is expected to feature a virtual home button embedded in the display, but questions persist over the role of Touch ID in such a radical redesign, as conflicting reports from analysts, rumors of biometric alternatives, and Apple patents abound. Today, DigiTimes cited industry sources claiming that an Apple-designed "built-in fingerprint sensor device" is indeed on the way, and will replace the traditional capacitive touch technology known as Touch ID. Apple has selected neither Synaptics' Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor nor Qualcomm's Sense ID fingerprint technology for its new OLED iPhones, and decided to use its own Authentec algorithm combined with Privaris glass identification technology to redesign a new fingerprint ID solution, according to industry sources.Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology originally came from AuthenTec, which Cupertino acquired in 2012, while the Privaris reference harks back to a patent portfolio Apple bought from the closed biometric security firm in June 2015 that included dozens of patents relating to fingerprint and touchscreen technology, including – in at least one example – the ability to use a touchscreen and fingerprint reader at the same time. DigiTimes has sources within Apple's supply chain, but it has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's unannounced product plans, so this latest report should be treated

New iPhone Patent Suggests Touch ID May Live on in a Different Form

One of the more contentious iPhone 8 rumors we've seen recently is the claim that with the removal of the Home button, Apple will ditch its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology and replace it with another form of bio-recognition hardware. While several possible alternatives have been put forward – such as iris scanning, facial recognition, and even a combination of technologies – each has its pros and cons, while it's still far from clear how Apple would implement them in a purportedly bezel-free OLED handset. On the other hand, it's possible that Apple plans to retain a fingerprint identification system in the context of a wider technology which doesn't rely on Touch ID as it is currently understood. A new Apple patent application published on Thursday and discovered by AppleInsider offers a case in point. The patent is called "Acoustic imaging system architecture" and describes a method by which a conventional capacitive sensor like Touch ID is replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath an iPhone display or in its protective housing. Some embodiments describe the transducers as capable of generating acoustic waves, or pulses, which propagate through different substrates, including an iPhone's coverglass. A sensing mode then monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions in the sound waves caused by a foreign body – such as a finger – coming into contact with the responsive substrate. According to the filing, the ridges in a fingerprint create an identifiable acoustic impedance mismatch. The resulting scan data is

Apple Exploring Fingerprint Sensing MicroLED Displays Sans Touch ID

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent that describes a display capable of reading a user's fingerprint without a dedicated Touch ID sensor (via AppleInsider). The patent is interesting given current rumors swirling around the iPhone 8, which is expected to do away with the home button and integrate Touch ID directly into the display, but perhaps more noteworthy is the patent IP's re-assignment from LuxVue, a little-known company acquired by Apple in 2014 that developed low-power microLED-based displays. Titled "Interactive display panel with IR diodes", the patent details a touch display that uses specifically microLED-sensing technology, rather than the traditional active matrix hardware utilized by most consumer smartphones and tablets. The technology replaces larger capacitive sensors with smaller infrared light emitters and sensors, which sit alongside the RGB LED display substrate or on a microchip mounted to the substrate. These "interactive pixel" formations can then be calibrated to perform any number of functions, including ambient light sensing, proximity detection, and notably complex touch detection, which works by bouncing infrared light off a user's finger and back to the sensing diodes. In the latter operation, specific rows – or a whole portion of the display – scan for a user's finger, which generates a proximate positioning bitmap to inform the system of the target's location and immediate surround. Bitmaps can include data like the intensity of incoming light, enabling a deeper analysis of the object and its

'Unprecedented' Warrant Request Sought to Compel Individuals to Open Fingerprint-Locked Devices

In a new case that echoes Apple's past struggle with the FBI, the Department of Justice has been granted a warrant to search a home in Lancaster, California -- and all the smartphones inside of it -- for all "passwords, encryption keys, and other access devices that may be necessary to access" the various handsets and tablets discovered inside the location. Notably, this includes requiring every person inside the home to provide their fingerprints to the cops to bypass the biometric scanners of each device (via Forbes). Filed May 9, 2016, a section of the warrant reads: “authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.” An anonymous person located at the home in question avoided providing details of the crime in question, but they did indicate that the warrant has been served. The person claimed that they did not know about the specifics of the warrant's parameters until it was served to them, and they are "trying to let this pass over" in the meantime. The case has been said to "shock" legal experts because of the legalese workaround used in the warrant. According to one expert, the government filed the warrant "on the assumption that they will learn more after they have a warrant," without providing any particulars as to what they plan to find at the home in question. This practice

Apple Researching Forensic Data Capture in Cases of iOS Device Theft

Apple is investigating ways that future iOS devices could store the biometric details of suspected criminals in cases of theft (via AppleInsider). An Apple patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes "Biometric capture for unauthorized user identification", by using an iPhone or iPad's Touch ID feature, camera, and other sensors. The proposed system augments typical Touch ID verification by capturing and storing information about a potential thief after six fingerprint unlocking attempts have failed and the wrong passcode is inputted 10 times (after which a "cool down" period or a complete data wipe is activated, depending on user setting). In another variation, a single failed authentication triggers the capture of fingerprint data and the device takes a picture of the user via the front-facing camera. In yet other embodiments, the system can be configured by the user to enable or disable various triggers and scenarios in which the biometric capture protocols are activated. The patent also specifies how other data could be logged in the background to supplement the biometric capture, including time stamps, device location, speed, air pressure, audio data, and more. Flowcharts illustrate different implementations of the security system. After capture, the data is stored either locally on the device or sent to a remote server for evaluation, while purges of data are activated when the system determines that it is no longer required. In suggested uses that are likely to be controversial, Apple describes how the server-side

Cardless Withdrawals With Touch ID Coming to Over 70,000 ATMs Across the U.S.

FIS and Payment Alliance International have announced a new partnership that will see cardless withdrawals with Touch ID enabled at over 70,000 ATMs at stores, gas stations, restaurants, and shopping malls across the United States. FIS Cardless Cash is a QR code-based solution that will reduce the risk of card skimming and shoulder surfing at ATMs by allowing customers to securely withdraw their funds through an iPhone app without inserting a plastic card into the machine. All transactions will require Touch ID verification as an additional layer of security. Payment Alliance International is the largest independent operator of non-bank-owned ATMs in the United States, and its partnership with FIS makes NYCE the first national payment network to support mobile phone-to-ATM transactions. Bloomberg previously reported that Payment Alliance International will start rolling out the technology in August or September, and plans to have cardless cash access at 25,000 machines in the U.S. by the end of 2017. FIS and Payment Alliance International did not confirm those specific plans in their announcement. This announcement follows in the footsteps of Bank of America rolling out support for withdrawing cash from its ATMs using Apple Pay for a few months. Wells Fargo will also enable support for Apple Pay withdrawals at many of its ATMs by year end, while Chase Bank plans to upgrade its ATMs with cardless technology this

Apple Working on OS X 10.12 Feature Allowing Macs to Be Unlocked via iPhone's Touch ID

Unlocking an iPhone via Touch ID in lieu of a passcode makes it much easier to maintain security while preserving convenience, and Touch ID's ease of use has left many Mac users wondering when a similar feature might be introduced for Apple's desktop and notebook machines. There has been speculation Apple might introduce dedicated Touch ID fingerprint scanning hardware for the Mac, but as it turns out, Apple is working on a simpler way to allow a Touch ID to unlock a Mac, and it's a feature that could be included in OS X 10.12. Apple engineers are designing an auto unlock function that would allow an iPhone to unlock a Mac when in close proximity, alleviating the need to enter a password on a password-protected Mac. The feature, which uses Bluetooth LE frameworks, will presumably work similarly to the automatic unlocking function on the Apple Watch, which allows an unlocked iPhone to bypass the passcode restriction on a connected Apple Watch. In this scenario, an iPhone's Touch ID button would likely be used as a verification method for simpler logins. It's also possible that a connection with an Apple Watch could be used to unlock the Mac even when an iPhone isn't present, making the process even simpler. This concept has already been demonstrated through the Knock app for the iPhone and Apple Watch, using a Bluetooth connection to unlock a Mac instead of a password. Knock requires an iOS app and a Mac app to work, but an Apple-designed feature will undoubtedly be simpler. The unlocking feature would likely work hand-in-hand with Apple Pay support for web

Apple Quietly Added New Passcode Requirement for Touch ID

Apple recently added a new passcode requirement rule for iPhones with Touch ID enabled, according to MacWorld. The new rule requires a user to enter a passcode when an iPhone or iPad has met two conditions: the device has not been unlocked via a passcode for six days and has not been unlocked with Touch ID for the past eight hours. Users (including this reporter) began noticing this change in the last several weeks, even though an Apple spokesperson says it was added in the first release of iOS 9. However, a bullet point describing this restriction only appeared in the iOS Security Guide on May 12, 2016, according to the guide’s internal PDF timestamp. Apple declined to explain the rationale for this restriction.The previous five passcode requirements are: the device has been turned on or restarted, the device has not been unlocked for 48 hours, the device has received a remote lock command from Find My iPhone, five unsuccessful Touch ID attempts and adding new fingers to Touch ID. It's unclear why Apple added the restriction and why it chose an eight-hour window, but the rule comes after a judge granted a search warrant forcing a woman to unlock her iPhone with Touch ID. The decision comes as some believe the biometric nature of Touch ID isn't protected by the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination. Passcodes, however, are considered protected individual

Judge Grants Search Warrant Forcing Woman to Unlock iPhone With Touch ID

For the first time in a federal case, authorities in a Los Angeles courtroom have issued a search warrant forcing a woman to bypass her iPhone's biometric security using Apple's Touch ID system (via LA Times). The woman in question -- Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan -- was arrested due to charges of identity theft and had previous strings of various criminal convictions. According to jail records, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Rosenberg signed the Touch ID-related search warrant about 45 minutes after Bkhchadzhyan was taken into custody on February 25. By the afternoon of her arrest, the suspect pleaded no contest to the charges of identity theft and gave the court her fingerprint to unlock the iPhone. Police recovered Bkhchadzhyan's smartphone at the residence of her boyfriend, Sevak Mesrobian, known to be the member of a local gang, so it's unclear whether the contents of the device were sought after due to Bkhchadzhyan's crimes or her proximity to Mesrobian's gang. The court's decision in the case follows the thin rules regarding a person's Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination, which relates that numeric passcodes are protected individual privacies, but fingerprints are not. For this reason, some believe new modern laws need to be enacted specifically detailing fingerprint-related security features. "It isn't about fingerprints and the biometric readers," said Susan Brenner, a law professor at the University of Dayton who studies the nexus of digital technology and criminal law, but rather, "the contents of that phone, much of which will be about her,

Apple's Average iPhone Users Unlock Their Devices 80 Times Per Day

During a Friday call with reporters where Apple discussed the security of iOS devices, Apple shared some interesting statistic on iPhone unlocking that were highlighted this morning in a report from Ben Bajarin (via The Verge). According to Apple, the average iPhone user unlocks his or her iPhone 80 times per day, and 89 percent of iPhone users who have access to Touch ID have set it up and use it to unlock their devices, saving valuable time over entering a PIN. During a 12 hour day, that equates to checking one's iPhone 6 to 7 times per hour or approximately every 10 minutes. Over the course of a full day, using Touch ID instead of a PIN code can save several minutes of time, and as it doesn't disrupt the iPhone entry experience, it's something most people don't hesitate to enable. As Bajarin points out, implementing security on a device that needs to be unlocked close to a hundred times a day is no small feat, with Touch ID serving as an example of Apple's efforts to balance security with user experience.Apple is attempting something that seems unprecedented at an industry level. To bring industry leading security but do so by actually enhancing the user experience. Prior to Touch ID for example, many organizations required eight, and sometimes longer, PIN numbers. Imagine entering that many numbers every time you pick up your smartphone. [...] Regardless, the simple act of logging into our phone via a secure form of login like passcodes or fingerprints is now taken for granted in much of Apple's ecosystem when, just a few years ago, anyone could have stolen

Viral Video Claiming iPhone Passcode 'Glitch' is False

A video that has gone viral which claims to reveal a glitch allowing anyone to unlock a passcode-protected iPhone has been exposed as false. The YouTube clip, called "iPhone Unlock Without Passcode Glitch", depicts a user gaining access to a Touch ID-equipped device by first asking Siri what time it is. When the spoken request brings up the time, the user taps on the clock face to reveal the World Clock screen and then selects the Timer icon at the bottom of the screen. He subsequently taps on the 'When Time Ends' option and presses the section that says 'Buy More Tones'. Upon doing so, the Apple Store opens and the user presses the home button, which unlocks the phone without the user having typed in the passcode. The video has been viewed over 420,000 times, with some iPhone owners thanking the video's creator for discovering the issue. However, repeated attempts by MacRumors have demonstrated that the method depicted does not allow "anyone" to access a passcode-protected iPhone. Savvy users will have noted that the method only works because the user activates Siri by pressing the home button with a finger that has clearly already been registered with the Touch ID feature's fingerprint scanner. The same process undertaken using a fingerprint that isn't registered on your iPhone makes subsequent taps to "Buy More Tones" fail to open the iTunes Store. So if you see anyone sharing the video, you can do them a favor by explaining that the video is misleading, and their phone's data remains safe and