PSA: Remove Fingerprint and Facial Recognition Off Cell Phone

#messymilitarylawyer with a public service announcement. Doesn’t matter who you are? Doesn’t matter if you ever think you’ll be investigated or ever be accused or suspected of an offense? If you have a cell phone and you want to demonstrate that you have a privacy interest in whatever is on your phone, whatever is on your phone. Whether it’s your search history. Whether it’s your photos. Whether it’s any messages you’ve ever sent. In order to make sure that you are keeping your phone secure right now, you need to take off any fingerprint capability, any facial recognition capability, anything I scan, whatever else is out there with all the fanciness of the world. Take it off, take it off, take it off. The only way that you should be able to get into your phone is with a pin code that you have in your brain.

If your phone is seized from you because someone determines that the probable cause that there could be evidence of a crime on it. If there is a fingerprint, if there is an eye scan, if there is any kind of facial recognition, they don’t need your pin code to get into it. All they have to do is put it on your face, put your thumb to it or whatever, and that’s a lawful search. But you cannot be ordered to turn over your PIN code. So stop whatever you’re doing right now. I don’t care if you don’t think you’ll ever be suspected, you just never know. Why take a chance. Remove facial recognition, open capabilities, remove fingerprint, eye scan, anything else. All that you should have is your pin code that is in your brain that you cannot be made to give up. This is your public service announcement.

Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.

Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 253-212-9582

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