The police may get right to demand suspects to unlock iPhone with fingerprint
The fingerprint scan is used in smartphones instead of typing a password to unlock. A sensor detects a complex combination of patterns on the finger. Each person this pattern is unique and does not change with time. The operating system recognizes the fingerprint, compares it with those stored in the memory and thus determines whether the device holds the owner or some other person. The recent incident in the United States confirms that the Touch ID should not be regarded as a serious protection of personal data.
According to Forbes, the California police seeking the right to require iPhone owners to unlock phones, secure Touch ID, to obtain necessary investigation information. Federal court in California is considering the appropriate treatment of local militiamen. The court request was filed may 9, 2016 on behalf of the Ministry of justice:
“The requirement to fingerprint any person who is in an appropriate location during a search and which, according to law enforcement, is suspected of committing a crime and he has a device with a fingerprint sensor, which is also located in an appropriate location and subject to a search warrant,” the statement reads.
Thus, the police were going to obtain the right to use any confidential information from a mobile device of a suspect, including “passwords, encryption keys and other data that may be needed to access the device.”
“They intend to obtain permission under the pretext that this will allow them to gather more information,” – commented on the request from Marina MEDVIN Medvin Law.
Jennifer Lynch, a senior lawyer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, believes that the government should initially report what information law enforcement officers are going to find on the device before forcing the owner to perform the unlock.
“The government should specify what information they expect to see on the device and how it relates to the crime. I would even say that we should provide a way of access to the data that are directly related to the investigation. The reason I’m so concerned, is that so strangers get access to a huge amount of information. The government ignores the fact that the device is a lot of personal data. If this stuff becomes law, then we have nothing to do with it…” – said the lawyer.
At the moment the police have no right to hack the device, password protected, or require a suspect to unlock the device. The password is not a physical object and protected by law.
Note that in may this year, the Federal court of Los Angeles allowed the local police the power to unlock your iPhone belonging to a suspect in the theft of a woman using Touch ID. The court considered that the blocking of mobile devices with fingerprint, not protected by the Constitution, therefore the people shall, at the request of the police to grant access to your device.