iOS 11 helps users with Medical ID keep data safe even when unconscious

With the release of iOS 11 beta 6 last week, we’ve yet to cover the new feature that allows users to quickly disable Touch ID from the lock screen.

Now, tapping the lock screen five times allows you to access the SOS screen and opening a Medical ID will cause the device to temporarily reject all Touch ID attempts and require a passcode to unlock. In theory, this can be used to prevent law enforcement from encouraging suspects to unlock their device with a fingerprint and can also protect those who have fallen unconscious.

If you’ve already updated to the latest iOS 11 beta 6, access the Medical ID form on the lockscreen. Once you’ve dismissed it, you’ll notice that a passcode is required to get back into your home screen. You can press the lock button five times to open the Medical ID/SOS/Shutdown page that will also perform the same Touch ID lockdown.

Your phone should now only accept Touch ID once a valid passcode has been entered. This adds another layer of security to the phone’s data so if, for example, that person becomes unconscious and a bystander comes over to access their Medical ID, they will be unable to use the unconscious person’s fingerprint to access their data against their will.

Similarly, Face ID in the upcoming iPhone 8 protects against unconscious unlocks with face biometrics. Although this will only help in certain situations, your chances of being secure are higher with this upgrade than they are in iOS 10.

About the Author

Helen is a Digital Copywriter at Precise English, a copywriting and marketing agency based in the UK.