“The FBI’s feud with Apple over access to Syed Farook’s iPhone might never have happened if the San Bernardino, Calif., shooter had been carrying a 5S or newer,” Kartikay Mehrotra reports for Bloomberg Businessweek. “For the 250 million phones sold around the world with fingerprint authentication since 2013, law enforcement may be able to compel suspects to press their fingers to the devices and unlock them.”

“With minimal litigation on the books in the U.S., police and prosecutors require only a judge’s blessing on a warrant for a suspect’s fingerprints. So far they’ve used the power sparingly,” Mehrotra reports. “But as the number of fingerprint scanners in hip pockets grows, district attorneys across the country say the technology is poised to become a major engine of evidence-gathering.”

Mehrotra reports, “Fingerprint-scanning phones will become the majority within about two years, estimates researcher IDC. As the pile of warrant requests grows, the pressure will be on magistrate judges to draw a line between genuine seizures and fishing expeditions…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Power down your iPhone at night. That would force a passcode if the phone is taken before you use it next.

You carry forever the fingerprint that comes from being under someone’s thumb. — Nancy Banks-Smith

To set a stronger alphanumeric passcode on your iOS device that cannot be easily brute-forced:
1. Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode
2. Tap Change Passcode
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code
4. Enter your new, stronger passcode again to confirm it and activate it

SEE ALSO:
Should you disable Touch ID for your own security? – May 9, 2016
Apple supplier LG Innotek embeds fingerprint sensor into display – May 4, 2016
U.S. government wants your fingerprints to unlock your phone – May 1, 2016
Android fingerprint scanners fooled by inkjet printer – March 8, 2016
Android fingerprint sensors aren’t as secure as iPhone’s Touch ID – August 10, 2015
Apple files for patent to move Touch ID fingerprint scanner from home button to display – February 9, 2015