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Apple to Introduce Stolen Device Protection Feature in iOS 17.3 to Enhance Security

Apple is set to introduce an enhanced security feature named Stolen Device Protection in the upcoming iOS 17.3 release next week. This feature aims to fortify defenses against potential phone thieves attempting to compromise Apple IDs and gain access to sensitive financial information stored on the device. Presently, the lock screen passcode provides access to such data, but with the implementation of Stolen Device Protection, certain changes will require Face ID or Touch ID authentication, accompanied by a potential waiting period of up to an hour.

This security upgrade addresses a vulnerability identified in a February 2023 Wall Street Journal report, where thieves could exploit memorized lock screen passcodes to lock users out of their Apple IDs. The new Stolen Device Protection feature seeks to mitigate this risk by imposing stricter authentication requirements for specific actions.

Upon activation of Stolen Device Protection, users will need to utilize Face ID or Touch ID for tasks such as applying for a new Apple Card, erasing the phone, or accessing iCloud Keychain. Furthermore, actions like changing the Apple ID password or adding another face or fingerprint for biometric authentication will require users to wait an hour after initial authentication, followed by a re-authentication using Face ID or Touch ID. Exceptions to this waiting period apply when users are at frequently visited locations.

Other anticipated features in iOS 17.3 include Collaborative Playlists, allowing multiple users to edit Apple Music playlists and react to songs with animated emojis. The release is also expected to introduce a new Unity Bloom wallpaper designed to complement Apple's Black Unity Collection watchbands. Additionally, iPhones will gain the capability to AirPlay content to TVs in hotel rooms, a feature initially delayed from its planned release last year.

The iOS 17.3 release candidate is currently available, enabling users to preview the update before its official launch next week.


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