Cops told ‘don’t look’ at Apple’s X-class iPhones to avoid Face ID lockout

“As Apple continues to update its iPhones with new security features, law enforcement and other investigators are constantly playing catch-up, trying to find the best way to circumvent the protections or to grab evidence,” Joseph Cox writes for Motherboard. “Last month, Forbes reported the first known instance of a search warrant being used to unlock a suspect’s iPhone X with their own face, leveraging the iPhone X’s Face ID feature.”

“But Face ID can of course also work against law enforcement—too many failed attempts with the ‘wrong’ face can force the iPhone to request a potentially harder to obtain passcode instead,” Cox writes. “In a set of presentation slides obtained by Motherboard this week, one company specialising in mobile forensics is telling investigators not to even look at phones with Face ID, because they might accidentally trigger this mechanism.”

“‘This is quite simple. Passcode is required after five unsuccessful attempts to match a face,’ Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Motherboard in an online chat, pointing to Apple’s own documentation on Face ID,” Cox writes.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To quickly disable Face ID on any X-class iPhone:

1. Press and hold the Side button and either one of the volume buttons simultaneously until the “power off” screen appears (you’ll also feel the haptic – good for if your iPhone in out of sight in your pocket).
2. Tap the Side button to turn off the display.

The passcode will then be required to unlock the iPhone.

After the iPhone is unlocked via passcode, Face ID will be automatically reenabled for future unlocking.


  1. The National Security Police & Spy State Apparatus will always cry for more, more, and more and laugh at your keeping less, less, and less of yourself private.

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