Cops can’t force you to unlock phone with face or fingerprint scan

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Face ID iPhone X
Face ID is the start of a new wave of biometric security.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Being forced by police to unlock your smartphone with your face or fingerprint is illegal, a California judge recently ruled.

Previous U.S. judges had ruled that cops could use biometric data to make you unlock your device, but not your passcode. The newest ruling could be a landmark case for protecting the privacy of citizens, although law enforcement officials aren’t terribly excited about it.