US Police Unlock iPhones with Fingerprints of Deceased

According to a report by Forbes, separate sources close to local and federal police investigations in New York and Ohio said it is now relatively common for fingerprints of the deceased to be depressed on the scanner of Apple iPhone devices, which have been wrapped up in increasingly powerful encryption over recent years.

The article highlights that “once a person is deceased, they no longer have a privacy interest in their dead body.” This means that while some might consider it unethical, it is legal for the police to use this technique to gather evidence.

For instance, the technique has been used in overdose cases, said one source. In such instances, the victim's phone could contain information leading directly to the dealer.

Forbes also reported that the police are now looking at how they could use Apple’s Face ID facial recognition technology, which was introduced on the iPhone X.

Marc Rogers, researcher and head of information security at Cloudflare, told Forbes he'd been poking at Face ID in recent months and had discovered it didn't appear to require the visage of a living person to work. Whilst Face ID is supposed to use your attention in combination with natural eye movement, so fake or non-moving eyes can't unlock devices, Rogers found that the tech can be fooled simply using photos of open eyes. That was something also verified by Vietnamese researchers when they claimed to have bypassed Face ID with specially-created masks in November 2017, said Rogers.