The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that it is constitutional for the police to unlock your smartphone with your fingerprint.
In a 17-page ruling, Judge Tracy Smith wrote that ordering the fingerprint doesn’t violate a person’s privilege against self-incrimination. She also argued that being ordered to produce a fingerprint isn’t the same as being forced to testify against yourself in court.
Peter Ivy, Carver County’s chief deputy attorney, said he wasn’t surprised by the ruling because the state already allows court orders to compel samples of everything from hair to urine. In the past, the county’s computer forensic experts could just download a cellphone’s information if no security measure like a fingerprint was in place, he said.