Police 3D-printed a murder victim’s finger to unlock his phone

The Verge – by Russell Brandom

Police in Michigan have a new tool for unlocking phones: 3D printing. According to a new report from Flash Forward creator Rose Eveleth, law enforcement officers approached a professor at Michigan State earlier this year to reproduce a murder victim’s fingerprint from a prerecorded scan. Once created, the 3D model would be used to create a false fingerprint, which could be used to unlock the phone.  

Because the investigation is ongoing, details are limited, and it’s unclear whether the technique will be successful. Still, it’s similar to techniques researchers have used in the past to re-create working fingerprint molds from scanned images, often in coordination with law enforcement. This may be the first confirmed case of police using the technique to unlock a phone in an active investigation.

Police techniques for unlocking phones have drawn close scrutiny since the San Bernardino case earlier this year, although the phone involved did not have a fingerprint reader. In May, Apple changed the way iOS manages fingerprint logins, requiring an additional passcode if the phone has been dormant for eight hours and the passcode has not been entered in the past six days.

It’s unclear whether the phone was at the heart of the Michigan case was an iPhone, or if the case itself took place before the new iOS rules took effect. According to Eveleth, 3D printing was necessary because the victim’s body was too decayed for a fingerprint to be directly applied.


6 thoughts on “Police 3D-printed a murder victim’s finger to unlock his phone

  1. if you ever come into contact with one of the states goons or goon squad .. it is your duty to destroy your device

    have them insured ,, so it might not be a total waste of your money,,, but no phone should ever fall into the hands of this police state

    lighter fluid and a match , a big hammer ,, definitely a micro wave if your at home , same with any hard drives thumb drives or CD disc

  2. Look into this Henry


    Weapons flow going into Syria Pushed by Hilary Clinton Into Jihadist Possession within Syria Including ISIS *Julian Assange

    She is arming terrorists
    how can this not be treasonous ?

    We (USA) and many countries are effectively in a war , (they declared it and called it so) against terrorism..
    so her actions are thus

    Aiding and arming the enemy ..( they called them the enemy)

    This in by its own definition is TREASON

    because we are effectively engaged in this war against Terrorism

    where is our military and why are they not doing their sworn objective ?( I know I know , it was a rhetorical question , dont lambaste me )

  3. No 1st amendment rights if your dead, I guess. What am I bitchin’ about, we got no rights no more. They do as they please, and, if your in the way, watch out for the steamroller! The end of privacy has long since past, there is no privacy anymore unless you “unplug” from all media devices and shoot your neighbors.

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