Court rules cops can demand fingerprints, not passcodes, to unlock smartphones
If police suspect that you’ve committed a crime, the odds are pretty good that they’ll want to search your smartphone for evidence. Whether they can actually search your phone depends on the security method you’ve picked—if any—to protect the device. Use Touch ID? Turn over those fingerprints. Have a passcode? You’re home-free.
A Virginia Circuit Court decided this week that cops can’t make you cough up your smartphone passcode because it violates the 5th Amendment, which bars the state from forcing you to incriminate yourself. Fingerprints are a different story, The Virginian-Pilot reported. They’re similar to DNA and handwriting, Judge Steven Frucci ruled.