FBI Forced Child Abuse Suspect to Unlock Apple iPhone X with Face ID

By Nitish Singh / October 1, 2018

For the first time officially, United States law enforcement has forced an iPhone X owner to unlock his device using Face ID. There have been multiple instances of iPhone owners being forced to unlock their devices using Touch ID, but this is the first time Apple’s facial recognition has been used.

US law enforcement has forced an Apple iPhone X user to unlock their device with their face as part of an investigation. Suspect a 28-year-old man, whose home was searched on August 10 by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. A search warrant was available with the FBI, and the officials demanded the suspect to unlock his phone using Face ID. The suspect complied and readily gave access to his phone.

The search warrant affidavit stated "any and all notes, documents, records, or correspondence in any format or medium (including, but not limited to, letters, emails, chat logs, electronic messages, other digital files, and web cache information)” were allowed to be searched.

The FBI found evidence in the Kik Messenger logs in the man’s iPhone X. An undercover officer conversated with the man prior to the search which helped catch the culprit. The suspect has now been charged with possessing child pornography along with its distribution and reception. Since the FBI did not know what the iPhone’s passcode was, they were unable to get access to all of the data on the device.

The FBI was restricted to one hour of search, and they were able to get the evidence that they needed in time. Data extraction tools have been tried on the device, but so far, the attempts have been unsuccessful. The crime bureau revealed that thousands of devices are hindering investigations due to the security mechanisms in place, which have led the cops to force suspects to unlock their devices.

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