Steven C. Frucci,a Circuit Court judge in Virginia in has stated that police can now force criminals to provide their fingerprints, but not passcode.The reason is because passcode is protected by 5th amendment of the United States constitution, but fingerprints are not.
The Firth amendment states that: “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” that means it protects the memorized information like passwords, passcodes and usernames, but that doesn’t include fingerprint because it doesn’t stands in the category of memorized information.
“Giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key, which the law permits. A pass code, though, requires the defendant to divulge knowledge, which the law protects against”,according to the judge ruling.
The ruling stemmed from a case involving David Baust, who was accused of strangling his girlfriend. Prosecutors believed Baust may have stored video of the attack on his phone, and requested that the judge force him to unlock it. If protected by a passcode, Baust will not be required to unlock his phone under the Fifth Amendment, but if protected with a fingerprint, he could potentially be forced to unlock the device.
So using passcode in Apple devices is better and safe than using fingerprint.
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