Apple Introduces Stolen Device Protection in iOS 17.3 Beta

iOS 17.3 Beta

Apple has recently unveiled the much-anticipated iOS 17.3 beta, targeting developers with a sneak peek into the upcoming features. While this beta version encompasses several enhancements, one standout addition is the Stolen Device Protection.

Earlier this year, there was a surge in reports concerning iPhone thefts, particularly in public places like bars. What caught everyone's attention was the thieves gaining access to passcodes, enabling them to reset the victim's Apple ID password effortlessly. It seems Apple took note of this alarming trend, leading to the incorporation of the Stolen Device Protection feature in the iOS 17.3 beta.

The Stolen Device Protection Feature

The primary goal of the Stolen Device Protection feature is to tackle theft-related issues by restricting unauthorized access to the device.

So, how does this feature facilitate the return of a stolen device to its rightful owner? When a user activates this protection, the device prompts for Face ID or Touch ID verification when taken outside predefined locations like home or workplace.

If the verification fails, the device imposes restrictions on accessing sensitive information. Thieves, with the Stolen Device Protection enabled, are unable to view passkeys or passwords stored in the iCloud Keychain. Additionally, they are barred from utilizing payment settings or the Apple Card.

Furthermore, the Stolen Device Protection feature introduces a one-hour delay before an Apple ID password can be changed. This intentional delay streamlines the process for victims to report a missing phone and have it promptly locked.

Apple has effectively implemented a two-tier security system with the Stolen Device Protection feature, striking a balance between robust security and user-friendliness. This strategic approach enhances the overall security landscape for iOS users, making it a commendable addition to the iOS 17.3 beta.

For more details on iOS 17.3 and its features, you can refer to the official announcement on MacRumors.

Reactions and Assessments

Positive Reactions

Users and industry experts have generally welcomed the introduction of the Stolen Device Protection feature in the iOS 17.3 beta. The proactive approach by Apple in addressing the rising concern of iPhone thefts demonstrates the company's commitment to user security.

The utilization of Face ID and Touch ID outside familiar locations adds an extra layer of security, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information. The one-hour delay before changing the Apple ID password is seen as a thoughtful measure, providing victims with a window to report the theft promptly.

Critical Assessment

While the Stolen Device Protection feature is a commendable addition, some users have expressed concerns about potential false positives. There might be scenarios where users legitimately forget to use Face ID or Touch ID in designated safe locations, leading to unnecessary restrictions.

Additionally, there is a need for clear communication on how users can disable this feature temporarily when needed. Apple should ensure that the implementation of security measures does not compromise the user experience for those who may have valid reasons for not using biometric authentication in certain situations.


The introduction of Stolen Device Protection in the iOS 17.3 beta marks a significant stride in enhancing the security landscape of Apple devices. This feature not only addresses the current challenges posed by iPhone thefts but also showcases Apple's dedication to proactive security measures.

With a focus on user-friendliness and a well-thought-out two-tier security system, Apple has struck a balance that aligns with the diverse needs of its user base. While there are minor concerns to address, the overall impact of the Stolen Device Protection feature is undeniably positive.

As the beta testing progresses, it will be interesting to see how user feedback shapes the final implementation of this security feature. Apple's commitment to refining its products based on user input is likely to result in a more robust and user-friendly Stolen Device Protection feature in the official release of iOS 17.3.

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