INFORMATION COLLECTED by a Fitbit device has been used as evidence in court for the first time, setting a legal precedent for the use of personal data from wearables.
Canadian lawfirm McLeod Law, representing a woman who was injured in a car accident four years ago, have become the first to use Fitbit data in court, in order to show the debilitating effects that the accident has had on her lifestyle.
The lawyers claim that the data shows that the woman - who was a fitness intructor before her injury - shows below average activity levels, backing up claims that the accident had a negative lasting effect on her life.
The data is being routed through a third-party analytics firm called Vivametrica, which will analyse the data and report its findings to the court.
A lawyer from the firm, McLeod Law in Calgary, told Forbes: "Until now we’ve always had to rely on clinical interpretation. Now we’re looking at longer periods of time though the course of a day, and we have hard data.
"We're expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury.”
"[The law is] always evolving with technology, a number of years ago we saw courts requisition Facebook for information. If you've been wearing the Fitbit monitors it’s likely you’ll see court applications to compel disclosure of that data."
This case is the first time data collected by a wearable has been used in court, and has caused legal experts to speculate that it could set a precedent, and could have implications other fitness trackers and smartwatch devices including the Apple Watch and Moto 360.
A representative from law firm McManis and Faulkner said to Forbes: "Wearables are yet another example of how technology may be a gold mine of potentially relevant [electronically stored information] for use in litigation."
Use of such data can also be pulled into doubt given its reliability, or lack thereof, also raising the question as to whether the information could have been manipulated before it is presented in court.
For more on the Internet of Things, visit the Intel IT Center. µ
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