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Silence Is Golden Until Your Face Unlocks Your Phone

facial recognition technology

Digital World

Silence Is Golden Until Your Face Unlocks Your Phone

Apple’s new iPhone X, to be released next month, will sport cutting-edge facial recognition technology. While its Face ID technology may attract consumers, some observers have expressed concerns about the brave new world such an offering would usher in. Last Wednesday, Sen. Al Franken in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook raised questions about how Face ID will impact consumers’ privacy and security. RT noted last week that Face ID “could spell disaster for those wanting to keep their private data from the prying eyes of law enforcement.”

Some perspective here from attorney Richard Lutkus, who concurs that the iPhone X Face ID will become an interesting legal issue. Mr. Lutkus is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw, and is a member of the law firm’s Global Privacy & Security Team.

“When arrested, can cops point the phone at the suspect and have it unlock? In most cases, the passcode is more secure than your fingerprint. They can and have compelled use of a finger to unlock a phone. Facial recognition technology seems analogous, and does not even need a touch,” said Mr. Lutkus.

He continued: “Can your face self-incriminate you? Will be interesting legal arguments on this, in terms of search and seizure and protection against self-incrimination. Even Miranda. Silence is golden until your face unlocks your phone.”

Mr. Lutkus’ law practice is dedicated to complex information governance issues including cybersecurity, digital forensics, data breach prevention and response, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and IT-related policies and practices. With over 13 years of experience, Mr. Lutkus represents and provides information governance consulting to a broad range of clients—from Fortune 100 global enterprises to small and mid-sized companies alike. Mr. Lutkus is the only attorney in the world known to hold all three of the following certificates: EnCase Certified Computer Forensic Examiner (EnCE); EnCase Certified eDiscovery Practitioner (EnCEP); and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Photo by Tom Sodoge on Unsplash

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