Idaho judge denies search warrant to force individual to use fingerprint to unlock cellphone

 

Idaho Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush denied a search warrant to force an individual to use their fingerprint to unlock a cellphone that is part of a child porn criminal investigation.

The Idaho Statesman reports, the smartphone was locked and required a fingerprint password to unlock it. Investigators applied for another warrant to require the suspect’s fingerprint to see if it would unlock the phone.

The judge says confiscating the phone was legal, but compelling the suspect to provide a fingerprint that may unlock the phone would violate the Fourth and Fifth amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling comes on the heels of a January 2019 ruling in which an Oakland, California, federal judge ruled that law enforcement agencies cannot force people to use biometric features such as facial-recognition, an iris or a fingerprint to unlock their cellphones or other devices.

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