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It’s yet not perfectly clear whether or not law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint, but an LA court isn’t waiting to find out: for the initially time in a federal case, a judge has ordered a man to unlock her smartp.

by • April 30, 2016 • No Comments

The authority to do this seems to be based around a blend of legal decisions. The Supreme Court has ruled that police can search your phone if they have a warrant, and that they can order you to create fingerprints without a judge’s approval. But, it is not sure that you can combine the two.

As the LA Times explains, there’s a dispute as to whether or not via your fingerprint to unlock your phone is a violation of the Constitution’s 5th Amendment, that protects against self-incrimination. Whilst a fingerprint isn’t the same as testifying, unlocking your phone may be treated that way. Even with precedent of a 2014 Virginia case (that determined that fingerprints are okay, but passcodes aren’t) working in the feds’ favor, there’s no guarantee that police can order fingerprint access going forward.


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by admin • March 5, 2017