Report No. 87
Question of legality.- The question, thus, is only one of providing statutory authority for measurements or the procurement of other demonstrative evidence so that no liability in tort arises. It would be tedious to deal with the position in various States of the U.S.A. According to one view5, to take a finger-print, photograph or measurement of an arrested person is not violation of the privilege against self-incrimination6, nor a breach of privacy.
According to some courts, therefore, it is valid without statutory authority7-8.
But in some jurisdictions a different view is taken, and the taking of fingerprints or photograph without consent and without statutory authority is regarded as an actionable assault9-10.