A new setting, created to automate emergency services calls, lets iPhone users tap the power button quickly five times to call 911. This involved waiting days for the phone to prompt you for a passcode, if purposefully locking the phone out with a bad fingerprint, or going through the settings process of disabling it.
However, authorities have also been allowed to demand that people give up their phone's passcodes.
It's certainly true that USA authorities have been able to compel people to unlock their phones with their fingerprints.
That ability makes iOS 11's overall SOS feature similar to Google's Trusted Contacts app, which notifies select contacts with the user's location in an emergency, albeit with the additional benefit of protecting the iPhone data in the event the user is pressured to unlock it with their fingerprint. To both tease and prepare such users, Apple has released a couple of videos that will help prepare them for the new and admittedly unfamiliar features ahead. "A monumental leap for iPad".
The phone will only accept Touch ID again once a valid passcode has been entered. The latest software update might come with an option to disable this feature altogether.
Rapidly pressing the Home button five times will bring up an SOS button. Here, iOS users can switch on Auto Call, which automatically calls the local emergency services number after the fifth press of the lock button.
A legal quirk can allow law enforcement to force smartphone access under certain conditions, but Apple may be providing a workaround to forced smartphone access in iOS 11. Last summer, police in MI used 3-D printing to print out a fingerprint of a murder victim.