iOS 11 new feature brings ability to disable Touch ID

Apple bolsters privacy in iOS 11, iPhone and iPad users can now disable TouchID with this Emergency SOS feature referred as "cop button"

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    • The feature can be activated pressing sleep/wake button fives times
    • It is referred to as a ‘cop button’.
    • Apple is widely expected to bring face unlocking on its next iPhone

Security is one of the major concern for enterprise mobility and Apple since long have been accelerating efforts to enhance it. The Cupertino tech company has added an “Emergency SOS” feature in iOS 11 beta that gives users an easy way to quickly disable Touch ID. The new feature likely allows iPhone owners in case they are in a dangerous situation to ensure their phone cannot be forcefully unlocked with a fingerprint.

To access this feature, users have to press the sleep/wake button of their iPhone rapidly five times. The button once pressed in rapid succession, it pops up a screen that gives the option to power off the iPhone, bring up Medical ID and make an emergency call. There is also a cancel button down below the Emergency SOS. MacRumours points out that if users hit the sleep/wake button five times and then hit cancel, it disables Touch ID and asks for a passcode to unlock the device.

Source: Apple Insider (screenshot by Twitter user @alt_kia)
Source: Apple Insider (screenshot by Twitter user @alt_kia)

This functionality will be useful in discreet situations if users feel to be in a position where some miscreants forcibly try to ‘bypass’ their iPhone security. Notably, users earlier if wanted to temporarily disable Touch ID they were required to restart an iPhone, wait until the device automatically prompts for the passcode, or ‘purposefully’ attempt to unlock it using an unrecognized finger a few times.

TechCrunch notes that this feature is referred as a ‘cop button’ since it allows the iPhone user to set up a provision in the update allowing to choose whether to keep the Touch ID.

While this new security method is said to be great convenience for unlocking the device automatically, it is believed to become more useful if Apple brings face unlocking on its highly anticipated iPhone 8. The new iOS 11 is currently in beta stage, the final build will be released to the public this fall in September alongside Apple next-generation iPhone.