The Virginian-Pilot reports on a court case in Virginia concerning the privacy of mobile devices, specifically ones that are biometrically locked with a fingerprint, such as some of Apple’s iPhones and iPads. (Note that Lifehacker has a suggested-solution for the problem of a forced unlocking of a fingerprint ID device.) The Virginian-Pilot reports:
VIRGINIA BEACH — A Circuit Court judge has ruled that a criminal defendant can be compelled to give up his fingerprint, but not his pass code, to allow police to open and search his cellphone.
The question of whether a phone’s pass code is constitutionally protected surfaced in the case of David Baust, an Emergency Medical Services captain charged in February with trying to strangle his girlfriend. […]
Judge Steven C. Frucci ruled this week that giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key, which the law permits. A pass code, though, requires the defendant to divulge knowledge, which the law protects against, according to Frucci’s written opinion.