A quick and easy way to maintain your privacy
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A new setting is coming to iPhones that will let users quickly disable Touch ID. Discovered in the latest iOS 11 public beta, quickly tapping the power button five times will initiate an emergency SOS call that has the added side-effect of disabling Touch ID until you enter a passcode.
The update is coming hot on the heels of recent controversies surrounding law enforcement requests and locked phones. Recent rulings have granted police the permission to force users to unlock their phone using their fingerprints. And this year TSA agents have started demanding certain travelers unlock their phones before being allowed to enter the country. But, a passcode—like the one that'll appear when you use this feature—falls under the Fifth Amendment, which would protect users and their privacy.
While regulations surrounding these controversies are still being decided upon, this new feature can go a long way to help relieve some of the fear about an invasion of privacy and personal security. Apple has already stood its ground against the FBI once when it came to protecting their user's privacy and it's good to see that trend continue.
While this is a beta-only feature right now (and there's no guarantee it'll make it to the final build), you can try it out for yourself if you sign up for the public beta program. Otherwise, iOS 11 is expected to roll out sometime this fall.