Judge Grants Search Warrant Forcing Woman to Unlock iPhone With Touch ID

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, May 2, 2016.

  1. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    As long as you've done something wrong, you'll have nothing to worry about, will you?
  2. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    This is bad. In this case, the fingerprint in less akin to a photo of you, or regular fingerprint, and more akin to forced mind reading or truth serum.

    Smartphones are an adjunct of our brains, and accessing them needs to be treated as such.
  3. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    Exactly, our phones contain far more information about a person (and everyone they communicate with) than even searching someone's home would.
  4. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    You don't think that evidence pertinent to unlawful trespass on property would not likely be found on a phone that has a constant location tracker on it and may very well have been logging everywhere you went?

    Sorry, but warrants to unlock phones are standard operating procedure the instant a crime is suspected. Until there are legal requirements around law enforcement's rights to that data, they will take every legal effort to obtain it because it likely will be pertinent to the investigation. This is their job. If they do not take advantage of it, they are derelict in their duty.

    If you don't like them doing this aspect of the job (and I certainly don't), then seek legal constraints on what they should be able to do here. Unlike all parallels, unlocking a person's phone yields a mountain of highly personal information which must necessarily be sifted through to get to "pertinent" data, and it simply is a recipe for massive corruption to leave that kind of power in local law enforcement's grasp.
  5. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Naïve and dangerous reply SMIDG3T.

    That sentiment is no different than saying as long as you say nothing controversial you don't need to worry about free speech liberties.

    Everybody has done something wrong, it's a part of the human condition. I think it was a communist state police chief who said "show me the man and I'll show you the crime."
  6. gnasher729, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Actually, no. This is not a matter of privacy. Many, many years ago, police could enter your home if they wished to do so. Today they can't. They need a search warrant, signed by a judge, who has to be given good and true reasons why the police should get the warrant. With the warrant, they can enter your home, even against your wishes, and look at everything that the search warrant allows.

    Obviously the police might get a search for your phone, if they have reason to believe that there is evidence of a crime on the phone. Like with any search warrant, they have no right to just look at everything, they are just allowed to look for evidence of the crime where they could reasonably expect to find such evidence. If the police can enter your home, look through your diary (if there is a reasonable assumption of evidence of a crime in that diary), why shouldn't they be allowed to look at your phone? And just as you are not allowed to keep your door closed if they come with a warrant, why should you be allowed to keep your phone locked?

    A phone with evidence of a crime is not "private". And revealing the contents of your phone is not "giving evidence", just like opening your door and letting the police search your home is not "giving evidence", so this has nothing to do with "fifth amendment rights". The only very rare situation where you don't have to reveal a password due to fifth amendment rights is when the police doesn't know for a fact that you know the password, and the fact that you know the password is in itself evidence against you.
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    On slashdot it was reported that one person in the USA, suspected to have child pornography on their computer, is currently held in jail for contempt of court and will stay there until they unlock their computer.

    I hope that was meant as a joke, because the FBI would have the last laugh. It would be "destroying evidence", which is a crime in itself, and any jury would be told that they must assume there _was_ evidence on the phone against you.
  7. gavroche macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Left Coast
    This is probably the best approach. As it is currently, you get three tries before it requires the password... so if this is an issue that is important to you you likely have already picked one of the less common fingers for access. The can force you to put a finger, but they get three guess as to which one. But i like the idea of having a specific one for deletion.
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    Technology changes things. Just 10 years ago, the idea of people using a fingerprint as an access key to all of their personal information would have been laughed at. Now its pretty routine. Yet authorities want to think that criminal law practices that have existed for a very long time should not adapt to changing times.
  8. gnasher729, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    An iPhone has GPS, which is usually turned off. Information about your previous locations is not stored, unless you install an app that specifically does that. There was an outcry and a bugfix some years ago when it turned out that the iPhone cached locations of cell towers near locations where you were; that information was nowhere near accurate enough to provide evidence of trespassing, and doesn't get stored anymore.

    Apart from that, a search warrant only allows the police to search for what they are looking for. If you are suspected of stealing and hiding a horse, they can go in your kitchen, but they can't open the drawers, because a horse can be hidden in your kitchen, but it can't be hidden in a drawer. If I had trespassed somewhere, my iPhone would have no evidence of that. If they had a witness that I am using a tracking application, they would have permission to look at that tracking application, but nothing else.
  9. macs4nw macrumors 601


    You're a step ahead of criminals and terrorists...... :D
  10. DoctorTech macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN
    I've never even had a speeding ticket in my life but if I were pulled over I would immediately turn my phone off and leave it off until I was on my way. If compelled to turn it on, it requires the passcode which I would not enter. I have nothing to hide but I refuse to play the role of "fishing hole" for someone who might want to go on a fishing trip through my phone.

    I had never thought about using the wrong finger multiple times to force the phone into a mode that requires the passcode, that may be even quicker than turning the phone off so thanks to everyone who has mentioned that approach.
  11. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Get on that Apple, iOS 9.3.2 or 9.4 if need be.
  12. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2008

    Even if a cop asked you for your phone and he started thumbing through it, you realize any information they obtain would have been collected illegally. The dumbest public defender who took the bar 8 times while living in his mothers basement would be able to get that evidence thrown out. Secondly, the cop knows he'd have a lawsuit brought upon the city if he ever did that right?
  13. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Touch ID is a convenience. We've all contemplated this scenario before.

    The answer is simple. If you've got information on your phone that you wouldn't want law enforcement to see, don't use Touch ID. Set Auto Lock to 30 seconds, wipe the phone after 10 tries and use a long ass password instead. Geez.

    Personally I couldn't care less if the cops/FBI rifled through my phone. Read all my emails too. So what. Contacts? So what.
  14. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Can you unlock an iPhone if you "ONLY" have the fingerprints of the owner?

    I presume if they have a criminal, they will naturally have fingerprints?
    I presume it's easy then, with the correct equipment to create a fake finger which has these correct prints to unlock the phone.
    Assuming this must be the case, a finger print is vastly less secure than almost any password that only exists in your mind.
  15. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    The ACLU is writing up the court challenge as we speak. Pesky fifth amendment. Who needs that bill of rights anyway.
  16. JohnGrey macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2012
    Cincinnati Metro
    The courts, not surprisingly, are wrong and that's a distinction without a difference. The whole notion of TouchID verification is predicated on the idea of uniqueness and lack of single-step reproducibility, just like a mentally-held combination or password. Courts have rendered numerous decisions in recent years that are blatantly unconstitutional. It is merely the general acceptance of the population at large, and their unwillingness to engage in broad civil dissent, that allows it to continue. That failure to object does not make it any more legal than blue or segregation laws were.
  17. macs4nw macrumors 601


    I thought the courts have already ruled you are not required to give the authorities your passcode when requested..... so if that ruling still stands, long complicated passcodes instead of TouchId should solve the problem.
  18. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Yes, middle finger says it all!
  19. American Hero, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    American Hero Suspended

    American Hero

    Jan 25, 2016
    Exactly, so this ruling needs to be appealed immediately to a higher court.

    Stupid judge. Can't even follow the law and our constitution. You don't have the right to violate the supreme law of the land.
  20. macs4nw macrumors 601


    lol..... Might as well inject some humor in this critical and far-reaching topic.....
  21. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    And why is that?
  22. tehreflex macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009
    It's been known that if your fingerprint is used to unlock the device, the courts may force you to unlock your phone. If you just use a pass code they cannot as the pass code is a thought and not something physical like your fingerprint. Not infringing on privacy.
  23. pjny macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    I hope apple can give the option of both fingerprint and passcode to unlock the device for those who really need the security. Would be nice to also add the option of automatically asking for passcode + fingerprint after a user-selected period of inactivity.
  24. tehreflex macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009
    Damn, that last name needs more vowels. I can't even attempt to pronounce that.
  25. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    fundementally, one can forget a long passcode, one cannot loose thier fingerprints.

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