Norway to Force Accused Criminal to Unlock His Phone via Fingerprint

Norwegian police will force a 27-year-old man accused of drug possession to unlock his mobile phone via fingerprint, according to local website Bergensavisen [Google Translate]. The police believe the confiscated smartphone may contain evidence about where he obtained the illegal substance.

The man, who reportedly admitted he was culpable, has refused to unlock his phone for police since being charged, but the Nordhordland District Court’s recent verdict allows Norwegian police to force the accused’s thumb on to his fingerprint-secured phone. Local police will also analyze his phone call and data history.

The brand of the phone is not disclosed in the report, but if it is an iPhone, it is not clear if Norwegian police are aware that Touch ID requires a passcode as supplemental verification after 48 hours of disuse, a restart, or three failed fingerprint entry attempts. The accused was arrested on January 25, so it may be impossible for authorities to unlock an iPhone with Touch ID without taking additional measures.

In the U.S., a Virginia court ruled that fingerprints, unlike passwords and passcodes, are not protected by the Fifth Amendment. In his ruling, Judge Steven C. Frucci opined that „giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key,“ which is permitted under federal law.

Correction: The source article does not explicitly state that the device in question is an iPhone, and this article has been updated to reflect that.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Touch ID, Norway
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Patent troll VirnetX grabs another $625 million from Apple

Apple has been ordered to pay patent troll VirnetX a whopping $625 million after losing a legal battle over the technology used for FaceTime and iMessage. The Cupertino company says it is “surprised and disappointed by the verdict,” and calls for patent reform. VirnetX, which is based in Nevada, is labeled a patent troll because […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


Samsung to Pay Apple $548 Million Settlement in Five-Year Old Patent Trial

Just under five years after the beginning of the patent dispute between tech giants Apple and Samsung, the companies yesterday agreed to a settlement of $548 million to be paid by Samsung, as ordered by the San Jose federal court hosting the trial (via FOSS Patents). Samsung is said to now be waiting for Apple’s official invoice of the settlement, and if it arrives by the end of day on December 4, it has promised to send the $548 million in full to Apple by December 14.

Samsung found a slight loophole in its agreement to pay the Cupertino company, however, retaining the right to continue appealing the court system and even the ability to „reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid“ by the company. So, if the court does agree to one of Samsung’s appeals in the future, Apple could see some – or all – of the $548 million returned back to its rival.

„Samsung continues to reserve all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple and/or payment by Apple of all amounts required to be paid as taxes. […] Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue or as a result of any petition for writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court.“

In its own part of the filing that made its way through the court system on Thursday, Apple noted that it „disputes Samsung’s asserted rights to reimbursement.“ Earlier in August, Samsung announced plans to try and appeal the patent trial all the way to the United States Supreme Court, following a series of appeals it lost in the intervening years since the legal battle began in 2011.

Tag: Samsung
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Victory for the pensioner who sued Apple after his iPhone was wiped

After suing Apple for wiping his iPhone during repairs, Deric White has come out victorious after a ruling from the High Court. Apple has been ordered to pay damages and costs to the 68 year old. Read more…

Man sues Apple for wiping his photos and contacts after iPhone reset

A man in London is suing Apple for wiping his iPhone which contained his honeymoon photos and 15 years worth of contacts. The device was allegedly broken, and was wiped as part of the repair. Read more…

Apple won’t have to compensate retail employees for waiting in line

Apple won’t have to stump up the cash for back-paying thousands of current and former employees at Apple Stores across California, according to the ruling of a federal judge. The lawsuit was brought against Apple in 2013 by two former retail employees — claiming that Apple’s policy of mandatory bag searches after work had cost them dozens […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


Lawsuit by Apple Retail Employees Over Off-the-Clock Bag Searches Dismissed

U.S. District Judge William Alsup today dismissed a lawsuit against Apple that had been brought by several retail employees over Apple’s policy of conducting required security searches of personal bags without compensation after workers had clocked out for meal breaks or at the end of their shifts, reports Bloomberg. The class action lawsuit covered thousands of employees at Apple’s California retail stores.

(Photo via Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke)

The ruling by a San Francisco federal judge Saturday releases the company from having to compensate as many [as] 12,400 former and current employees from 52 stores throughout the state a few dollars a day for time spent over a six-year period having their bags and Apple devices searched at meal breaks and after their shifts. A law professor who reviewed filings in the case estimated Apple could have been be on the hook for as much as $60 million, plus penalties.

In his ruling, Alsup noted that employees could have avoided the searches, as some employees did, by not bringing personal bags to work. The lawsuit had been restricted to California as the U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled workers are not entitled to compensation for time spent in post-shift bag searches under federal law.

An attorney for the plaintiffs in the case reports they are weighing their potential next steps, which could include an appeal of Alsup’s ruling.

Tag: lawsuit
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Apple Shares New ‘Half Court’ Ad Showing Off Live Photos on iPhone 6s

Just a day after debuting three new iPhone 6s ads focused on the iPhone’s camera and wireless „Hey Siri“ functionality, Apple has shared a new short 15-second ad in the same series, this time focusing on Live Photos.

In the „Half Court“ ad, the iPhone 6s is used to capture a half-court shot made by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, which is then played back again.

The iPhone 6s is here, and the only thing that’s changed with the camera is everything. Because now you can shoot amazing Live Photos. Bringing every moment, big or small, to life with just a touch.

Yesterday’s longer camera-focused iPhone 6s ad also featured a shot by Stephen Curry and both ads come just ahead of the start of the 2015-2016 NBA Regular season. The two ads may be featured during the Cavaliers/Bulls and Pelicans/Golden State Warriors games, set to be broadcast on TNT.

Over the course of the last several weeks, Apple has launched more than five videos to market the iPhone 6s, which have focused on 3D Touch, Siri, and the new camera features in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Apple has also released a number of Apple Watch ads highlighting Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, and more.



Apple Reiterates Inability to Unlock iOS Devices Running iOS 8 or Higher in New Court Filing

Apple this week informed a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York that it „would be impossible“ for the company to access data on a locked iPhone running iOS 8 or later, reports Reuters. Apple was responding to a request from the judge, James Orenstein, to help him decide whether to fulfill a U.S. Justice Department request that would have forced Apple to help authorities gain access to a seized iPhone.

Apple’s response is not a surprise, as it is the same thing the company has said several times in the past. Since iOS 8, Apple has stopped storing encryption keys for devices, making it impossible for the company to unlock iPhones and iPads under police request. Without an encryption key, Apple cannot bypass a passcode to gain access to an iOS device.

In a brief filed with the court, Apple said 90 percent of its devices are running iOS 8 or higher and are thus inaccessible. Apple is able to access the 10 percent of devices that continue to use iOS 7 or below, but the company told the judge that being forced to comply with the Justice Department’s request could tarnish its brand.

„Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand,“ Apple’s lawyers wrote.

Apple’s encryption changes, implemented in 2014 with iOS 8, have been unpopular with some law enforcement officials. FBI Director James Comey has expressed concern that encryption implemented by companies like Google and Apple lets people „place themselves above the law.“

Just yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told an interviewer encryption is a necessity and that software backdoors are unacceptable, reiterating Apple’s long-standing opinion on the subject.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.



Microsoft: Handing over cross-border data could cause international discord between US and EU

Microsoft has been fighting the U.S. government extraterritorial search warrant for data that is stored in its Dublin datacenter. Microsoft argues this could cause discord between US and EU. Read more…