Nicholas Parsons is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying philosophy, politics, and economics.
We have all heard about the new iPhone X, which employs a new technology that allows the user to open their iPhone simply by looking into the camera. Apple is not the only one currently utilizing facial recognition; for example, Facebook stores biometric data for suggesting tags and Google applies a similar technology to organize photos into groups based on the faces in the pictures This facial recognition technology, however, should be put into question before being used so broadly and freely. If not used carefully, it could come into conflict with several laws.
The biggest concern is that authorities will be legally allowed to compel suspects or persons of interest to open their phones with facial recognition.  This problem could mirror the one encountered with previous iPhones that have a thumbprint lock. Because a fingerprint is a physical part of each individual, it doesn’t qualify as a “password” in the traditional sense. Thus, it’s uncertain whether it should fall under the Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination in the same way that passwords and passcodes fall under it.