Granting the feds a warrant, an LA judge has ordered a suspect Armenian woman to provide the fingerprints needed to unlock private iPhone. The 29-year-old Armenian woman resident of Los Angeles is the girlfriend of an alleged gang member involved in a federal crime case, and her iPhone is at the heart of the case. Thus, the Los Angeles judge has agreed to sign an FBI warrant to force the woman to unlock private iPhone locked with her fingerprints through the Apple TouchID security system.
After the LA Judge Alicia Rosenberg had signed the warrant, the feds took 45 minutes in obtaining the fingerprints evidence and gain access to the smartphone’s stored data.
Later on, the Armenian girl pleaded no contest to charges of identity theft.
The measure of warranting access to a suspect’s private iPhone has raised controversy due to the self-incriminating possibility of such an act. It also seems unconstitutional according to the 5th Amendment, violating the privacy of the suspect.
However, others disagree it might be a rights violation stating that providing fingerprints to unlock a private iPhone is like providing DNA samples – they are indirect evidence, although we know, in some cases, a warrant is also necessary for taking DNA samples. Fingerprints, keys to personal belongings and testimonies are rather similar in nature, therefore, the difficulty in assessing which measures should be taken.
This is not the first time such accusations of rights violation are thrown around. There has also been a battle between the feds and the Apple Company to allow the iPhone decryption of the San Bernadino shooter. And in related news, a child pornography suspect is held indefinitely in custody until he provides access to the personal hard drives believed to hold incriminating images.
The dispute on what should be forced upon us in establishing our guilt will surely go on for a long time. The debate on how easy or difficult is technology making this entire process is another thing altogether.
Will we ever live in a harmonious world, where boundaries are not imposed, limits are not needed, and crime is something of the past? I hope we will! Until then, what do you think? Is an FBI warrant to unlock a private iPhone a necessary step?
Image Source: YouTube