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How Law Enforcement Gets Around Your Smartphone's Encryption

www.wired.com

When you lock your phone with a passcode, fingerprint lock, or face recognition lock, it encrypts the contents of the device. Even if someone stole your phone and pulled the data off it, they would only see gibberish. Decoding all the data would require a key that only regenerates when you unlock your phone with a passcode, or face or finger recognition. And smartphones today offer multiple layers of these protections and different encryption keys for different levels of sensitive data. Many keys are tied to unlocking the device, but the most sensitive ones require additional authentication. The operating system and some special hardware are in charge of managing all of those keys and access levels so that, for the most part, you never even have to think about it.

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