However what about biometric security like Apple’s Face ID or Touch ID systems? As it turns out, those are protected the same way as passcodes are. This is according to a ruling by Judge Kanis Westmore in which the request put forth by police was denied, setting a legal precedent for future similar requests.
According to the ruling, this is because the request “runs afoul of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments”. The police had initially submitted a request to compel individuals from a blackmail case to unlock their devices using biometrics such as fingerprint, facial recognition, and/or iris recognition.
Westmore wrote, “If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device. The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial.”