Did you know that in the US it is actually legal to use a dead person’s fingerprints to unlock the phone they own as long as it is not owned by someone else as well? It also turns out that law enforcement has actually been using such methods for a couple of years already, according to a recent report from Forbes.


The report was confirmed by FBI forensics specialist Bob Moledor who detailed a case which was apparently the first known case of police using a deceased person’s fingerprints in an attempt to bypass Apple’s Touch ID security feature, and this is also something that law enforcement has been doing since at least 2016.

Forbes also cites information from separate sources close to local and federal police investigations where it seems that this is now a common practice, especially in cases which might involve a drug overdose and the police are trying to unlock the person’s phone in an attempt to figure out their drug dealer’s number.

In some cases this has been successfully used, while others not so much simply due to the time passing in between. In case you didn’t know, if your phone has not been used for at least 48 hours, users will be prompted to enter their passcode before Touch ID can be used again. This means that if police take too long, the window to use Touch ID has passed and they basically cannot unlock the device.

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