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According To A Federal Court’s Ruling, You Do Not Have To Tell The Police Your Passcode

By Josh Wolford

October 6, 2015

Can the police compel you to give up your iPhone passcode?

Not according to one federal court’s ruling. Doing so would be a violation of your Fifth Amendment rights.

The case in question involved two insider trading suspects and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s desire to get at evidence it believed was present on the defendants’ work-issued iPhones.

Unfortunately for the SEC, the phones were protected with passcodes.

“The SEC argues Defendants, as former Bank data analysts, are corporate custodians in possession of corporate records, and as such cannot assert their Fifth Amendment privilege in refusing to disclose their passcodes. Defendants disagree they are corporate custodians and argue providing the passcodes to their phones is ‘testimonial’ in nature and violates the Fifth Amendment,” says the ruling.

So, who’s right?

According to the court, it’s the defendants.

“Since the passcodes to Defendants’ work-issued smartphones are not corporate records, the act of [...]

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