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China state media slams Apple for app used by Hong Kong protestors
App shows the location of police activity.
Photo: Hkmap Live

Cops can’t force you to unlock phone with face or fingerprint scan

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Face ID iPhone X
Face ID is the start of a new wave of biometric security.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Being forced by police to unlock your smartphone with your face or fingerprint is illegal, a California judge recently ruled.

Previous U.S. judges had ruled that cops could use biometric data to make you unlock your device, but not your passcode. The newest ruling could be a landmark case for protecting the privacy of citizens, although law enforcement officials aren’t terribly excited about it.

Apple rewards Korean cops who caught counterfeit accessories

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Lightning cables that plug into USB-C ports charge your iPhone more quickly.
Haul included counterfeit cables and earphones.
Photo: Apple

Apple is planning to present police officers in South Korea with a plaque to celebrate their work cracking down on almost $1 million worth of fake accessories.

The fake products were supposedly shipped in from China under the guise of being official Apple products. Their distributors are under investigation for potential fraud and trademark violation.

Apple hires police to watch over its Apple Stores in Sacramento

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Thieves grab MacBooks from an Apple Store
This is the kind of situation Apple wants to avoid.
Photo: CBS New York/Apple

Police might have cracked the crime ring behind the spate of snatch-and-grab robberies in Apple Stores across California, but Apple’s taking no chances. According to a new report, it has contracted local police departments to bring officers in as extra security in some of its stores.

Specifically, the report notes that Apple is doing this in Sacramento. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple followed a similar strategy in other locations which have been the target of criminals.

Police seek help in solving another Apple Store robbery

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Apple Store
Police have released a photo of the incident.
Photo: Roseville Police Department

The Roseville Police Department in California has released a photo of two of the thieves who robbed a local Apple Store this week.

The crooks stole 20 iPhones, two MacBook Pros, and one iPad mini. Fortunately no-one was hurt during the robbery, which involved no weapons.

UK’s Big Brother road signs watch for drivers using iPhones

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UK Street signs watching for motorists using their phones are being tested .Big Brother anyone?
Street signs watching for motorists using their phones are being tested in Britain. Big Brother anyone?
Photo: Norfolk County Council

Distracted driving is a major source of accidents. In hopes of combatting the problem, road signs that can detect whether a cell phone is in use are being tested in the UK.

The signs currently just light up to remind the motorist to put down their phone. Plans to record the license plates of drivers receiving warnings are being considered. And traffic citations are the likely next step.

Apple Watch helps solve brutal murder

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bezel
An Apple Watch found on a murder victim provided critical evidence.
Photo: Form Function Form

An Australian woman claims her mother-in-law was killed in their home by unknown assilants, but data from the victim’s Apple Watch contradicts that testimony.

An Apple Watch tracks the wearer’s heartbeat. This means it knows exactly when that heart stops, allowing Adelaide police to know precisely when this murder had taken place. And that was far earlier than claimed.

Cops will use decoy buses in hunt for Apple shuttle shooter

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Apple bus shooting
20 incidents have been reported since January.
Photo: California Highway Patrol

California cops will use decoy buses and undercover officers to try and catch the person who keeps shooting at Apple employee shuttles.

Google shuttle buses have also been targeted by pellet guns, and at least 20 incidents have been reported since January of this year. The FBI has been called in to help with the investigation.

Police warn you not to fall for ‘Siri 108’ prank

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Siri
Saying the digits to Siri prompts your iPhone to call emergency services.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Sheriff’s office of Harris County, Texas has posted a message on its official Facebook page, pleading with people not to fall for a social media prank in which they’re encourage to say “108” to Siri.

That’s because the number prompts Siri to dial 9-1-1, or the emergency phone number of whichever country they are in at the time.