Cops can force you to unlock a phone with Touch ID during a search, judge rules – BGR

A district court in Illinois has ruled that law enforcement may force people to use their fingerprints to unlock Apple devices during the search of a house. The ruling overturns a decision from a lower court, and marks a significant increase in the steps cops can take to force people to unlock devices.

The ruling only applies in one particular case, with a very specific set of circumstances. Police officers had already obtained a warrant to search a house, looking for child pornography. They expected to find at least one iPad and one iPhone on the premises, and wanted to be able to force any occupants found on the premises to unlock the devices using Touch ID during the search.

The rationale was that the cops already had a search warrant for the house and for the devices, and that they had a reasonable suspicion that any devices found would belong to the people in the house at the time of the search. They also stressed the fact that due to mobile device encryption, using Touch ID ...

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