Police can force your finger onto a suspect's iPhone to see if it unlocks, says judge

A US judge gave the cops permission to force people's fingers onto seized iPhones to see who could unlock them, a newly unsealed search warrant has revealed.

Specifically, Judge Judith Dein, of the federal district court of Massachusetts, gave agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) the right to press Robert Brito-Pina's fingers on any iPhone found in his apartment in Boston. The bloke was suspected to be trafficking guns, hence the application for a search warrant. In fact, anyone nabbed at the property would be forced to use their fingers to unlock any cellphones seized at the home, according to the court filing.

The warrant, issued April 18, is due to be executed by May 2, though it's not clear if it has been carried out yet, and therefore if the agents have been able to force Brito-Pina's fingers, or anyone else's digits, onto mobiles seized at the apartment, including his own iPhone. In any case, the document makes it plain that the ATF went to some trouble to get the judge's specific authorization on the issue.

In the 10-paragraph warrant, three are dedicated to the issue of unlocking the phone and note that the officers can choose which fingers to press on the device, including thumbs. The warrant [PDF] also includes an entire section on the return of seized mobile phones.

Read more at https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/24/judge_forced_fingertoiphone_unl...