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Through iOS 17, Apple has extended the security and privacy that its Face ID and Touch ID are offering to the Private Browsing of Safari. As such, those who have updated their compatible devices should now be able to protect their private tabs with the said authentication features from Apple, even with their iPhones unlocked.

The arrival of the Face ID and Touch ID should be useful to ensure the utter privacy of the Private tabs within Safari. Even if the iPhone is unlocked, authentication will still be required when the user selects the Private Browsing section, which reads “Private Browsing is Locked.” It won’t show any of the tabs it contains unless unlocked by Face ID or Touch ID. Users will also have to unlock the section again once they exit, so users can be sure that their browsing activities will not be viewed in the Private tab even if the unlocked iPhone is accessed by someone else.

On a side note, iOS 17 allows you to opt out of the feature. To do it, go to Settings > Safari > Require Face ID to Unlock Private Browsing. There, just tap on the toggle to disable the feature.


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