Sen Franken Questions iPhone 5s and 5th Amendment Implications

Another reason I’m passing on the latest iPhone is because of the 5th Amendment and the fine legal line between something you “know” and something you have or are. Or to put it simply, is a password more secure because you “know” it and the government would have to compel you to give up that knowledge rather than something that is tangible in the sense of a fingerprint or other biometric data that you “have” or “are”? It will be an interesting court case for sure.

Sen Al Franken (D-MN) has posted a series of thoughtful questions for Apple (and consumers) to ponder with this latest iteration of technology…

(10) Under American intelligence law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation can seek an order requiring the production of “any tangible thing[] (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” if they are deemed relevant to certain foreign intelligence investigations. See 50 U.S.C. § 1861. 

Does Apple consider fingerprint data to be “tangible things” as defined in the USA PATRIOT Act?

via Sen. Franken Questions Apple on Privacy Implications of New iPhone Fingerprint Technology | Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota.

To use the cliche, it’s not that I have anything to hide but I would like to keep as many constitutional aspects of my US citizenship (especially in 2013) instead of trading them off for quicker access to iTunes purchasing.