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You Can't Keep Cellphone Password From Cops in Florida, Says Court

Image: You Can't Keep Cellphone Password From Cops in Florida, Says Court

The Florida Court of Appeals ruled that as defendant accused of voyeurism must provide his cellphone pass code to law enforcement officers. (Ymgerman/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 16 Dec 2016 10:22 AM

A court ruled a defendant can’t keep his cell phone password from cops in Florida, reversing an earlier decision that the man suspected of voyeurism couldn't be required to reveal the code.

The Florida Court of Appeals ruled that a suspect has to reveal his iPhone 5 password to police, Courthouse News Service reported.

According to BBC News, a defendant, Aaron Stahl, was arrested after a woman, who was out shopping, found him crouching down, aiming his iPhone underneath her skirt.

Store CCTV caught footage of the incident.

After Stahl was arrested, he agreed to allow officers to gain access to his smartphone, but reneged on that once the phone was retrieved by police.

Initially, a Florida judge said Stahl was able to deny access to his phone under the protection of the Fifth Amendment, which states that “those accused of crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves,” 9to5mac.com noted.

However, after the court reversed the previous ruling, Stahl was forced to give cops his passcode.

The new ruling states that “A man suspected of voyeurism can be compelled to tell police his four-digit iPhone passcode so they can search it for incriminating photos.”

This contradicts a previous Virginia court ruling in a case where a man was forced to unlock his phone with his fingerprint rather than his actual password, after prosecutors said video footage showed the EMS captain strangling his girlfriend, 9to5mac.com noted.

In the state of Virginia, while the revealing of passcodes is protected by the Fifth Amendment, that isn’t the case for the Touch ID.

Judge Steven C. Frucci ruled in the Virginia case that “giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key, which the law permits.”

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A court ruled a defendant can't keep his cell phone password from cops in Florida, reversing an earlier decision that the man suspected of voyeurism couldn't be required to reveal the code.
cellphone, password, cops, florida
295
2016-22-16
Friday, 16 Dec 2016 10:22 AM
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