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Police can’t record teens’ biometrics just because they want to – state supreme court

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement
Police can’t record teens’ biometrics just because they want to – state supreme court
 

Police in the U.S. state of Michigan have no more right to record biometric identifiers than they have the right to demand a hair sample, according to a new ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.

The justices said police cannot force teenagers to submit to photographing and fingerprinting because they are not carrying ID cards. It is now considered an unreasonable search.

According to an article in the state news publication MLive, the court ruled on a pair of cases in Grand Rapids involving a teen picked up in 2012 and another one detained in 2011.

Neither were charged with a crime, but neither had ID, either. As was once a common practice in Grand Rapids, both were subjected to what was known as P&P, or photos and prints. MLive says police “largely discontinued” P&Ps in 2015.

The record is mixed nationally when it comes to government bodies rejecting arguments by police and businesses that there are higher social priorities than protecting biometric data.

One of the children reportedly was walking close to cars and acting like he was looking for something to steal. Nothing was reported stolen, and witnesses said that the teen had taken nothing.

Separately, a police captain said he saw a 16-year-old crouching near bushes who was acting suspicious.

While the recording of faces and fingerprint biometrics was no longer routine after 2015, the police chief at that time said he would not rule out hauling in teens acting in a “highly suspicious” manner.

That will not happen now, however.

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