CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, October 8, 2018

"How Face ID could be a game-changer for aggressive US border agents"

From Ars Technica, via the NACDL news scan:

We concocted a scenario in which an American iPhone XS owner was crossing into the United States at an international airport from abroad. She gets taken aside for secondary screening. Her phone is confiscated. Under questioning across a table, an aggressive agent holds up the iPhone XS in front of her.

"Is this your phone?" the agent asks, facing the screen toward her. She looks directly at the screen, and, as Face ID is enabled, the phone unlocks—even though the traveler is sitting a few feet away and hasn’t touched her phone since it was seized. The agent then swipes up to reach the home screen and has access to most of the personal data on her phone. (In short, basically everything except Apply Pay or Keychain password data. That would require a second Face ID unlock or the passcode.)

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