In the age of technology, mobile phones are everywhere. Most Missouri residents have a phone. Most smart phone users carry their lives on their phone. It has all of their personal photos, their contact lists and much more than that. If you can unlock a person’s phone, you may receive a front row seat to his or her entire life. This can be an extremely useful tool for police departments and the FBI. If you face an arrest and the police seize your phone, can the police force you to unlock it?
In the past, according to Forbes, judges said that police can unlock phones with fingerprints, faces or irises. On the other hand, the government cannot ask a person to provide his or her password. There is a right to privacy in regards to cell phones. In addition, say that you do have incriminating evidence on your cell phone. Via the United States Constitution, you do not have to incriminate yourself. To provide your mobile phone password to the police may be the same as incriminating yourself.
A ruling by a California judge states that American cell phone users do not have to unlock phones with biometrics. This landmark decision emphasized privacy and is the first to protect people’s private lives from the police and government intervention. Even if a cop has probable cause to search the phone, he or she cannot unlock the phone. He or she cannot take the phone and force it to unlock through biometric features.
None of the above information is intended to be legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.