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Here’s how to quickly turn off biometrics on your iPhone when you’re arrested

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While people around the world take part in protests and demonstrations around the world to support Black Lives Matter and honor the late George Floyd, some have encountered law enforcement opposition. If you are arrested while participating, you can ensure that your iPhone cannot be unlocked without a PIN code in the following ways.

My colleague Georgina Ustik recommends not to bring your phone with you or to bring a cheap burner phone with tracking tracking disabled. So if your phone is lost or stolen, it won̵

7;t harm you too much. An iPhone is an expensive device, so my first recommendation to anyone who wants to take part in the protests is to leave it at home.

Read: Protesters are flooding the Dallas Police app with K-Pop videos

However, if you take your iPhone with you to protests, make sure that the biometric data – FaceID and TouchID – that make your life so easy can actually be used against you. You can refuse to give a password, but it’s much easier to just hold your phone in front of your face and let FaceID do the work for the officials.

Sure, you could take the case that the police cannot legally force you to unlock your phones with your finger or face, as this could be considered a violation of your fourth and fifth amendment rights. But at least allow me how you can prevent the police from violating your rights in the completely implausible scenario if, for example, you are arrested during a protest.

How you do that?

With the iPhone’s emergency SOS function, which you can access by pressing and holding the alarm button and one of the volume keys, you can quickly contact the emergency service and send a message to your emergency contacts. However, it also disables biometrics, which means you’ll need to enter a password or passcode to unlock it. Note: If you have an iPhone that is older than 8, you need to tap the alarm button five times instead of holding down the buttons.

If you hold both buttons down for a few seconds, you will see sliders that you can use to turn off your phone, call emergency services, and open your medical ID. You don’t have to wipe any of them. You can press the Cancel button and your biometry will still be disabled.

You also want to make sure that Automatic Call is turned off. When enabled, pressing the buttons means that your phone will automatically call the emergency service instead of showing you the options above. You can find this switch under your emergency SOS menu in the Settings app.

Hopefully this will help protect your device in case you are arrested by law enforcement. Good luck!

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Published on June 2, 2020 – 19:38 UTC

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