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A judge from the district court of Northern California ruled law enforcement does not have the right to force suspects to unlock their phones through biometric identifiers, Forbes reports. Courts had previously determined biometrics were not considered “testimonialâ€� and therefore were not granted Fifth Amendment protection. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore wrote in her ruling fingerprints and face scans are not the same as “physical evidenceâ€� when they are needed to unlock a device for an investigation. “If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,â€� Westmore wrote.
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