Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Forcing Provision of Computer Password Violates the Fifth Amendment: eDiscovery Case Law

Interesting ruling which may impact airport security demands to ‘unlock your computer’…:

In Commonwealth v. Davis, No. 56 MAP 2018 (Pa. Nov. 20, 2019), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in a 4-3 ruling, overturned a lower-court order that required a criminal suspect to turn over a 64-character password to his computer, concluding that “compelling the disclosure of a password to a computer, that is, the act of production, is testimonial” and rejecting the Commonwealth’s argument that provision of the password was a foregone conclusion, finding that “the prohibition of application of the foregone conclusion rationale to areas of compulsion of one’s mental processes would be entirely consistent with” US Supreme Court decisions.


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