- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with New Jersey-based Tarver Law Offices, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination extends to the digital age by prohibiting law enforcement from forcing individuals to disclose their phone and computer passcodes.
As per NorthJersey, the defendant argued that giving his smartphone passcode would amount to be testimony, which would violate his Fifth Amendment rights and protections under the law.
ShareTweet The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that passcodes aren’t protected by the Fifth Amendment.The rationale in these states is that while law enforcement may know about certain incriminating documents that could be accessed if the passcode were provided, providing the passcode allows access to absolutely everything on the phone – which could turn up additional evidence that prosecutors didn’t know about.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Monday that a criminal defendant can be compelled to reveal his cellphone passcode to investigators, rejecting the argument that such a move violates the right against self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Writing for the majority in a ruling handed down on Wednesday, Justice Debra Todd wrote: Based upon these cases rendered by the United States Supreme Court regarding the scope of the Fifth Amendment, we conclude that compelling the disclosure of a password to a computer, that is, the act of production, is testimonial.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a forceful opinion today holding that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being forced to disclose the passcode to their devices to the police.
On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that requiring a suspect to unlock a device using their biometric data like face identification or an iris scan would be a violation of their Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
A Florida state appellate court has ruled that an inebriated teenager involved in a car crash that resulted in the death of another person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode to his iPhone 7—the boy can indeed invoke a Fifth Amendment privilege, protecting him against self-incrimination.