Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Murder Victim's Fitbit Data Is Relevant

It's usually pretty darn obvious that the significant other did it in most murder mystery television dramas. Sometimes, real life resembles TV drama, like when data from a Fitbit ends up being the critical piece of evidence in proving the spouse did in fact do it.

The narrative isn't exactly a selling point for Fitbit, but it's not not. Apparently, a murder victim's Fitbit shows time of death being an hour earlier than reported by the victim's spouse to authorities. Naturally, as we've all learned from TV legal dramas, this sort of conflicting narrative is rather damning for the spouse, but rather telling of how wearable tech is actually changing the legal landscape. Cue the Law and Order sound effect.

Home in Bed, Now Provable!

For defense lawyers everywhere, if you have a client that claimed to be home alone in bed at the time of a crime or incident, get that fitness tracker data to prove it. Ask them about their Apple Watch, Fitbit, or any other wearable tech or fitness trackers they might utilize. If they have an iPhone, fitness tracking is now a stock feature. If your client still has their phone, you need to check that data out.

With round the clock tracking of our own health these days, "being home in bed" could actually be provable (objectively corroborated) thanks to wearable tech. Unfortunately, it could also bite your client in the glutes if they happened to be working out during the same times as the alleged crime occurred.

In prosecuting matters, tech has a sneaky way of sticking it to unsuspecting criminals, and it doesn't even just stop at wearables or Alexa-related incidents (of which there have already been plenty of stories of law enforcement using these to get evidence). For example, one Ohio man was arrested for arson due to his own pacemaker's data poking holes in his story.

Related Resources: