The account touches on issues ranging from the legal and ethical quandaries of data security to what protections remain when you die…

Cops Used Dead Man's Finger Trying to Unlock his Phone

(Tampa Bay Times) LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.

What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate.

“I just felt so disrespected and violated,” said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip, was shot and killed by a Largo police officer last month.

Armstrong, 28, happened to be at Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home in Clearwater the day two detectives showed up with Phillip’s phone, she said. They were taken to Phillip’s corpse. Then, they tried to unlock the phone by holding the body’s hands up to the phone’s fingerprint sensor…

** MORE BIOMETRICS COVERAGE at Liberty Headlines **

While Chaney said detectives didn’t think they’d need a warrant because there is no expectation of privacy after death — an opinion several legal experts affirmed — the actions didn’t sit right with Phillip’s family.

“While the deceased person doesn’t have a vested interest in the remains of their body, the family sure does, so it really doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Charles Rose, professor and director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law. “There’s a ghoulish component to it that’s troubling to most people…”

The account touches on issues ranging from the legal and ethical quandaries of data security in today’s technology-saturated world to what protections remain when you die. Phone security via physical characteristics such as your fingerprint or your face has only been available to consumers for a few years, making it a new challenge for police, Chaney said…

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