A Virginia Beach Circuit Court judge ruled that law enforcement officials can compel you to unlock your smartphone with a fingerprint, but that they can't force you to enter in your passcode or password to unlock your device. Judge Steven Frucci says that obtaining a fingerprint is like obtaining a DNA sample or a physical key, things that would have to be surrendered in an investigation anyways. Passcodes would be considered knowledge, and not a physical object, so they deserve more protection under the law.
The ruling arose from a case surrounding Emergency Medical Services tech David Baust, who was charged for strangling his girlfriend. The attorney for Baust tried to stop authorities from gaining access to his phone, where he may have stored video footage of the alleged crime.
Do you secure your phone with a fingerprint ID? What do you think of the ruling? Will you switch back to using a PIN?
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