A California judge has refused to allow law enforcement to use a “finger, thumb, iris, or other biometric feature” to unlock digital devices of any individual present at an investigation, a decision that could impact how courts weigh biometric privacy rights going forward,

In a Jan. 10 order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the Northern District of California wrote the federal government was out of bounds with the Fourth and Fifth Amendments in attempting “to compel any individual present” during a search “to press a finger (including a thumb) or utilize other biometric features” to unlock digital devices for authorized search.

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