Apple has a huge event on Tuesday, September 12 where they will (likely) unveil their new iPhone models, along with the latest version of their operating system, iOS (plus a handful of other announcements).
One of the most interesting things that is being reported so far is that iOS will have “anti-police” mode that has been dubbed SOS Mode. When enabled, rapidly pressing the power button five times in a row will open up a new screen that allows you to call the local emergency number with a quick swipe. It also disabled Touch ID unlocking of the phone, which means that you must enter the physical PIN or passcode to get into the phone.
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
Mobile phone privacy has become a hot button issue in law enforcement as devices get more advanced and contain more and more data, including communications, credit card info, and GPS locations. Apple famously refused to help law enforcement unlock the iPhone of a suspected terrorist in San Berandino, citing the suspect’s constitutional rights.
Courts have ruled that a suspect cannot be forced to enter their passcode for law enforcement, as it would violate their fifth amendment right. But they can be forced to provide their fingerprint for something like Touch ID. Apple’s new software feature would ensure a user’s right to privacy in a era where police actions are under increased scrutiny.
iOS 11 contains another additional security feature. When you plug an iPhone into a computer, you can only access its contents if you allow the phone to “Trust” the computer, which you can only do when the phone is unlocked. The new version of the software demands the use of a physical PIN or passcode for this now, again disabling the Touch ID option.
Assuming both these rumors are true, you can expect to update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS shortly after it is officially announced on Tuesday.