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

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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