touch id

Touch ID under Duress

A feature that I would like to see on Apple’s Touch ID devices is what I call a “duress” mode.

Let’s say someone is mugging you and demanding that you unlock your device. What if you assigned a specific finger to something called duress mode that does things behind the scenes while appearing to unlock the device.

You could even have a flash “store front” of apps that load up if you use this particular finger. None of them really do anything and your data is still protected. It may even add an extra layer of security that is required to unlock it by Apple. Once your device is put in duress mode, only authorized people could unlock it. By unlock it, I mean get it back to a state where your normal fingerprint would unlock the device. Apple couldn’t directly unlock it.

By using this finger, you have also alerted family, friends, and anyone else you designate that you are in some sort of duress. These messages could include your GPS location etc.

I think in the future, this type of functionality will be necessary. It might even save lives.

Picture from here.