Apple’s new Touch ID rule requires you to enter passcode more often than before

By , May 19, 2016

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Has your iPhone or iPad been asking you to enter your passcode after you wake up, even though you normally used to unlock it with Touch ID?

You’re not alone. As first discovered by MacWorld’s Glenn Fleishman, this is the result of a new Touch ID rule which Apple quietly implemented since iOS 9 was released.

The author discovered a new bullet point Apple added to its iOS Security Guide on May 12, which clearly states that the passcode is now required after it has not been used to unlock the device in the last six days and Touch ID has not unlocked the device in the last eight hours.

That’s why if you lock your iPhone or iPad before nap time and you sleep for eight hours you must now enter the passcode when you wake up. This has been my experience, too.

“It’s a rolling timeout, so each time Touch ID unlocks a device, a new eight-hour timer starts to tick down until the passcode is required,” Fleishman explains.

The previous rules still apply.

To refresh your memory, and based on Apple’s refreshed iOS Security Guide, the passcode is required instead of Touch ID under the following circumstances:

  • The device has just been turned on or restarted
  • The device has not been unlocked for more than 48 hours
  • The passcode has not been used to unlock the device in the last six days and TouchID has not unlocked the device in the last eight hours
  • The device has received a remote lock command
  • After five unsuccessful attempts to match a fingerprint
  • When setting up or enrolling new fingers with Touch ID

Apple declined to explain the rationale for this new restriction, but Fleishman suspects it might have something to do with preventing a law enforcement or other government agent or a malicious party to force suspects to incriminate themselves by obtaining a court order requiring them to unlock a seized device with their fingerprint.

“There would typically be no way for another party to know if the six-day period had passed, nor whether Touch ID had been used in the previous eight hours to unlock the iPhone or iPad,” he wrote.

Have you noticed this new Touch ID requirement and what do you think of it?

Source: MacWorld

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  • Agneev Mukherjee

    So-So

  • Juschan

    never noticed it and my phone lays down the night at least 8 hours

  • Chris Wagers

    Ive noticed it and I have no problem with it. Especially knowing law enforcement can make you open it with fingerprint but not with passcode. I’m glad they do it like this now.

    • I don’t see how this would stop law enforcement from forcing you to use your fingerprint to unlock your phone.

      • :D

        Just stall for 8 hours +

      • Blip dude

        Yup, or quickly reboot it as you are getting ‘cuffed.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        This is brilliant! 😀

      • Chris Wagers

        They would have to get a court document to make you do it and by that time it would probably be longer than 8 hours.

      • Jerry

        because they need to get a court order first

    • JulianF

      Dont know how it works in your country, but there was recently a case in Norway where the court decided that the police could not force someone to unlock with the fingerprint

      • Chris Wagers

        That would be awesome! Not that I’m a criminal I just don’t think it’s right they can do it with fingerprint but not with password. Just does t make sense to me.

      • throttle clutch e brake

        Recent trial in the U.S. where the judge ordered the fingerprint to be entered. “it doesn’t infringe the 4th Amendment.”

    • throttle clutch e brake

      The disadvantage is that Apple didn’t allow a modification feature for the 8 hour timeframe. Let’s say your forced to enter your I.d. A couple of minutes, or hours before the 8th hour has passed. Do you see the argument established here? It’s still debatable, but I think there should be a way to adjust how long after you want your password required.

  • I’ve never really noticed unless I reboot my iPhone but that’s about about it.

  • Charlie

    As long as they are not installing something without my permission and restart the device that’s all good

  • Rodney Coleman

    I noticed but who cares… ITS CALLED SECURITY!!!

  • VITICO

    This has not happened on my iphone

  • Joey_Z

    I must have been sleeping less than 8 hours for quite some time…

  • Agil1ty

    Luckily I have a young daughter *sleep for 8 hours* pffff 😉

  • Eric

    I’ve noticed this and wondered why I needed to enter my passcode some mornings. I just assumed it rebooted overnight.

    This will be good for people who keep forgetting their passcode since they only use their fingerprint.

  • :D

    This is annoying – I hate having to type in my passcode. I don’t see why it’s more secure, too, since anyone who sees you typing in your passcode can gain access to your phone. Anyone who sees you using your finger can’t.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    This is a nice feature to have. I had activator gesture to restart my phone when a cop tries to make me unlock my phone. Sure officer i’ll unlock my phone. Oops. Looks like it restarted. Oh well.

  • therealjjohnson

    I work midnights, I have noticed that my phone resets each night about 3AM or so. After it does, i must enter my passcode. If i was not up to see it restart I would think this was happening.

    Just took my jailbreak off my phone, I’ll watch to see if it keeps doing it.

    • :D

      Probably jailbreak-related. I’m a student, i.e. I sleep at around 5 A.M. I’ve not seen my phone ever restarting on its own (currently not jailbroken).

  • throttle clutch e brake

    Noticeable to a degree

  • iphone6

    Off topic, my iphone 6 plus keep asking me to change passcode after I changed many times and i can not used old passcode. I’m so tired to changed passcode every few days. Anyone had this problem?

  • Fuzzball

    My phone reboots everything on its own. I’m jailbroken. Didn’t think it was related to what was described above (not using TouchID in 8 hrs).

  • Ed

    I noticed quickly after 9.0 came out, I thought my iphone was restarting on its own while I was sleeping.

  • stann1q

    I dont like the passcode after 8 hours. I want an option.