It is nothing new for law enforcement to use technology to try and find people who have committed crimes but the types of data they have access to today can often be frightening. Specifically, if information is obtained from mobile devices, it can lead to a real feeling of having your privacy invaded.
Some of these situations are far from settled and only time will tell how the courts decide our personal data can and should be used. Today we are looking at a case in which Fitbit data was used by law enforcement. Keep reading to learn about it and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
An Example of Fitbit Data Being Used
To better understand how the courts want to use this type of technology, consider a Connecticut case in which a man is accused of murdering his wife. The victim had a Fitbit on her the morning she was murdered. The data collected from that device is being used by the prosecution to show that the defendant’s timeline of the crime does not fit with the Fitbit.
The defendant claims that after he put his kids on the bus to school, he went to work. Shortly thereafter, he claimed that his wife left to attend an exercise class. He says that after leaving for work, he received a notification that his home’s security alarm had been activated. He then sent an email to his boss to explain why he would be late.
The defendant claims he went home, hard a noise, and went upstairs to see what it was. There he found an intruder and his wife came home in the middle of this confrontation. He claims he heard his wife come in, told her to run, and then the intruder shot and killed his wife.
The Timeline on the Fitbit Was Not the Same
The prosecution ahs gathered data from the Fitbit and it shows that the victim had very different movements than her husband claims. For example, it shows that she was moving for more than an hour after the murder allegedly occurred. It shows that she moved 1,217 feet after getting home, though the accused claimed that she was murdered as soon as she walked in the door. The distance from her vehicle to the place she died was less than 125 feet.
Interesting Questions of Technology and Crimes
In this case, it can be reasonably accepted that the deceased does not have a belief that she her Fitbit data would remain private after her death so there is no issue with invasion of privacy. This is not the case if the Fitbit information had been the husband’s, as requiring him to provide the data to the police may have violated his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.
If you are accused of a crime in California and are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help with your case from start to finish, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.