Norwegian police will force a 27-year-old man accused of drug possession to unlock his iPhone with Touch ID, according to local website Bergensavisen [Google Translate]. The police believe the confiscated smartphone may contain evidence about where he obtained the illegal substance.
The man, who reportedly admitted he was culpable, has refused to unlock his iPhone for police since being charged, but the Nordhordland District Court's recent verdict allows Norwegian police to force the accused's thumb on to his Touch ID-secured iPhone. Local police will also analyze his phone call and data history.
It remains unclear if Norwegian police are aware that Touch ID requires a passcode as supplemental verification after 48 hours of disuse, a restart, or three failed fingerprint entry attempts. The accused was arrested on January 25, so it may be impossible for authorities to unlock his iPhone with Touch ID without taking additional measures.
In the U.S., a Virginia court ruled that fingerprints, unlike passwords and passcodes, are not protected by the Fifth Amendment. In his ruling, Judge Steven C. Frucci opined that "giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key," which is permitted under federal law.
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