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USA forces visitors to use FaceID

Travelling gets even more difficult at this time. It already
starts with the arrival at the airport at the travel destination.
In the USA for example, you can be forced to unlock your
personal phone protected by FaceID / TouchID if needed!

The first case has been reported where a suspect traveller had been forced to unlock his phone after he got arrested as suspicious person.

Although the reported case is about a 28-years old male in Columbia who was suspected for handling childpornography and had the linke on his phone, the general question is how secure is your privacy. Today it’s only criminals, tomorrow it can be made a general preference if you intend to travel to the USA.

With a search warrant in hand, a federal investigator told the suspect to put his face in front of the phone, which he duly did. That allowed the agent to pick through the suspect’s online chats, photos and whatever else he deemed worthy of investigation.

The case marks another significant moment in the ongoing battle between law enforcement and tech providers, with the former trying to break the myriad security protections put in place by the latter. Since the fight between Apple and the FBI in San Bernardino over access to an iPhone in 2016, Forbes has been tracking the various ways authorities have been trying to break Apple’s protections.

First came multiple cases in which suspects were forced to unlock iPhones with their fingerprints, via Apple’s Touch ID biometric login. The same technique was then used on dead(!) subjects. Earlier this year, this publication uncloaked GrayKey, a $15,000-$30,000 tool that could break through the passcodes of the latest iOS models, including the iPhone X, although that requires that the suspect is using a weak passkey. Another contractor, Israel’s Cellebrite, announced similar services

Now Face ID is being used for the same purpose. Whilst the feds obtained a warrant, and appeared to have done everything within the bounds of the law, concerns remain about the use of such tactics. The step to general search and/or interest in private data can be easily tied down for your travel visa. So if you want to visit the USA even as a tourist, you may be forced to show (and share) all your private data with the U.S. authorities. Frightening!

“Traditionally, using a person’s face as evidence or to obtain evidence would be considered lawful,” said Jerome Greco, staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society. “But never before have we had so many people’s own faces be the key to unlock so much of their private information.”

The FBI for instance wanted to force Apple to apply a backdoor to iOS in order to gain access to the suspect’s phone without notifcation. Apple however refused to do likewise yet works together with the FBI in order to train employees on how to evaluate the obtained data (when forensic software was used to extract the data from an iPhone).

It is only a question of time when all this is widely used and you’re no longer able to roam freely without being spied on 24/7.


October 3, 2018 Netspark - 1446 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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