US Federal Court rules that individuals can not be ordered to use their biometric data to unlock digital devices

14 Jan 2019

A California federal judge has ruled that law enforcement may not compel suspects to unlock devices with biometric identifiers, including fingerprint or iris scans, calling the practice unconstitutional. (U.S. v. Search, case number 4:19-mj-70053, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California).

Explore the issues

Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.

Jurisdiction is the authority of the court and state organs to decide on legal cases. The relationship between jurisdiction and the Internet has been ambiguous, since jurisdiction rests predominantly on the geographical division of the globe into national territories. Each state has the sovereign right to exercise jurisdiction over its territory.

 

The GIP Digital Watch observatory is provided by

in partnership with

and members of the GIP Steering Committee



 

GIP Digital Watch is operated by

Scroll to Top