When I first started researching phone security in 2020 I didn’t think much about what lock method to use. Most users think of the lock method is a way to prevent your kid(s) from messing with your phone. However, there are three main groups of people that I don’t want to access my phone. Starting in no particular order is young family members, people I don’t know, and government officials. I have nothing to hide as I don’t do anything illegal or immoral. I just love the privacy and freedom that our country provides and like to exersice my rights.
A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about the secure phone that I was building. This was the third device that I was trying at the time. Frankly my wife was getting tired of hearing me talk about my phones so I was left to find a friend (Tim). Fortunately, Tim is bird of a feather and was familiar with some aspects of phone security. He mentioned that the government can force you to unlock a phone if it is secured with fingerprint or facal recognition. I really like the fingerprint reader on my phone as it is very convenient. Security is not convenient. If you are going to make your technology more secure it is going to cost you time and convenience.
I will put some links to articles below if you want to dig into the details. The short version of these articles, the courts are more likely to see password and pattern locks as a Fifth Amendment violation. Passwords and patterns are intellectual property and compelling a person to unlock a device with this information is similar to having them incriminate themselves. Biometrics like fingerprints and facial recognition are more publicly accessible as such are not afforded the same consideration in court.
Many people may not find this to be a concern. That is fine with me as we all have different levels of concern over security. However, now that you know you can make a more informed decision.