Apple is testing out an interesting security feature, which will be enabled in the next version of iOS. Known as USB Restricted Mode, this feature will totally disable data being sent by USB is your iPhone or iPad is unlocked for a period of 7 days.
First discovered by the software firm Elcomsoft, this feature will basically lock down the data connection over the lightning port 7 days after the last time your iPhone is unlocked. However, it will still charge the phone, and the data connection will be re-enabled if you unlock it naturally.
It means if your iOS device is stolen, robbed or seized, no one will be able to gain the access to your data without your passcode, fingerprint or Face ID. Normally, when an iOS device is connected to a computer (whether it’s the owner’s computer or someone else’s), there is an interchange of data, if they are authorized to send or back up data. With this new feature, this option will be disabled if the device is unlocked for 7 days.
While users are quite happy with this feature, law enforcement agencies may not as they won’t be able to unlock iPhones n criminal investigations as well. Since 2016, the issue of access to data from devices has been a hot topic. The FBI then tried to compel Apple into unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, which they later did without Apple’s help.
No matter what the law enforcement agencies think, this is no doubt the best security features ever. It will protect your data while your phone is out of sight. And the best thing is, this feature will be enabled by default in iOS 11.4, means you don’t need to go to settings to enable it. It won’t be so surprising if other mobile companies start copying this feature.