iOS 11 Security Feature Makes it Hard for the Police to Find User Information

The case between a user’s data security and the police’s access to their information has long been a bone of contention between the law and Apple’s privacy policies. In several stand-offs with the Justice Department, the FBI, and the local police, Apple has been forced several times to provide user information from the devices. Security features of the iOS are encrypted in a such a manner that even Apple itself cannot read them.

This year too, the new Apple iOS 11 is perhaps at its strongest. Security experts have speculated that the new security features will make it quite tough for law enforcement to carry out digital forensic searches of iPhones and iPads. Apple has taken a tough stand this time to ensure users are protected under the Fifth Amendment protection and do not have their data compromised by the government.

Use a Passcode to Access Data on a Computer

One of the new security features requires users to use a fingerprint and a passcode to access onboard data. This means if users want to access backup, they will have to go through an additional verification step. Prior to the iOS 11, users simply had to unlock their phone screens to connect with a computer for data transfer or device pairing. Now, however, once the user receives the trust prompt, they will have to provide a passcode in order to confirm the pairing process. Touch ID is no longer the only source to unlock the device and cannot be used as a context to access user data.

An additional security feature designed specifically for the benefit of users have caused law agency personnel such as the police, border patrol agents, FBI and other intelligence agencies much frustration. Initially, it was easy to compel a person to activate their phones using fingerprint, but now getting a passcode requires a more legal approach and if the user has died or refuses to provide the passcode, accessing the phone is impossible.

Some additional security features that make part of the iOS 11 but goes unnoticed by the general public are:

S.O.S Mode

A new emergency feature, the SOS mode gives users a quick and easy way to call emergency by pressing the power button five times in rapid succession. This feature carries out an emergency call and also disables the touch ID so the user can choose an action option. Once the option is chosen, the user will have to enter the passcode to unlock the device. To have a detailed understanding of the SOS Mode and its implications, Elcomsoft released an analysis that reports of the weakness of the SOS Mode and minor technical details associated with it.

Forceful Enabling of Two-Factor Authentication

Don’t want an annoying pending notification that doesn’t go away? Enable the two-factor authentication. The new iOS 11 has made it clear that it doesn’t want users to take security settings light. The user is forced to enable the 2FA with a pending notification that acts as a reminder and only goes away when the user activates the security option.

Automatic Driver Mode

Apple doesn’t want you to drive and use the mobile. Hence, the new iOS will be able to detect when you are in a vehicle and enables the driver mode on. You can choose to disable this by doing so manually in the Settings.

For iPhone users, increased security is quite welcomed. For law agencies, it will be another source of frustration. Until then, make sure your data remains safe and secure.

Farah tries to keep up with the fast-paced tech world by writing about it. She covers latest tech news and writes informative pieces to help her readers make informed decisions about their tech preferences.