It seems that if one begins recording video from a locked state then there is no way to delete and only to discontinue the recording without unlocking the phone. Are there any ways to create more robust protections against this scenario or threat model, either through configuration or through third party apps?

To clarify, suppose one is in a hostile situation where there is a threat of arrest or other forceful apprehension by others. One is recording video to collect evidence of potential misconduct. hostile actors may have an incentive to seize and destroy your evidence by force. The assumption is that you will more often than not eventually be able to get your phone back. But if the hostile actor is able to delete the video permanently then that is not good and what is being sought to be prevented. Certain apps in the past have sought to create tamper proof technologies like real-time location trackers to aid recovery and ensure data security in case of theft.

Also comparably constables have body worn video recorder devices that make it impossible for them to delete videos out in the field. I knew someone who had a device that was impossible for others to delete footage from without him entering a 20 digit passcode on it first.

What configuration options or third party apps for iPhone exist to replicate any part of this arrangement?

  • Or perhaps this is more suited for security.SX? Oct 4, 2023 at 21:39
  • I’m not sure the goal is clear. Could you edit in the body what the goal is - there’s a lot of double negatives - protection against the scenario - is confusing to me. I’d just say plainly that you want to retain all recordings if you lose control of the device. Also, this seems a little far fetched. Are you in a bar or taking photos of celebrities paparazzi style or police gonna take your phone?
    – bmike
    Oct 4, 2023 at 22:23
  • if they can't delete the video, I think they'll just destroy the phone (or damage it enough to make recovering the video difficult).
    – Barmar
    Oct 4, 2023 at 23:17
  • @bmike I might be arrested in which case I would want others if possible not to be able to deactivate the recording so that my phone will continue to video record (I’m almost sure this wouldn’t be possible on an iPhone). Or: some brazen thugs might take my phone from me but in my experience the ones I typically encounter aren’t quite so brazen to permanently steal your phone or to destroy it physically because then police are much more likely to care as are other bystanders. Oct 5, 2023 at 0:18
  • Thank you. That detail and clarification in the edit are very much helpful
    – bmike
    Oct 5, 2023 at 2:58

1 Answer 1


The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) app to record police conduct might be useful. The three main features of the app are:

  1. Record
  2. Witness
  3. Report

For further details see:


I have never used this app so I can not provide any assistance in using it.

  • How does it work to meet the requirements of the OP
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 5, 2023 at 8:40
  • @mmmmmm I am not sure. I am simply offering the OP an option that MIGHT be useful. Whether it is useful or not is up to the OP. Oct 5, 2023 at 8:54
  • I think the point of Stack Exchange answers is to provide answers that ARE useful and have been tried. Mights should be comments
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 5, 2023 at 9:57
  • This is a +1 answer on a very marginal question. Let’s not expect too much from an answer where the question has some issues
    – bmike
    Oct 5, 2023 at 14:05
  • @bmike Thanks for your support! Oct 5, 2023 at 19:46

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