Evidence Obtained from Personal Items on Internet
Oct. 8, 2018
With the increasing use of personal items connected to the Internet there are more and more frequent reports of Evidence being obtained in cases in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. For example:
One woman called police to report that an intruder broke into her house and raped her. Examination of her fit bit data revealed no elevated heart rate, and evidence that she had just been walking around her house at the time of the alleged attack. She was arrested and charged with falsely reporting a crime.
A man called 911 to report a fire in his home. Investigators thought it was odd that this elderly man was able to pack several bags and bring them to the street before his home burned down. In this case his smart pacemaker proved to be his undoing. A cardiologist reviewed the pacemaker data and determined there was no way the man packed the suitcases and rushed them to the curb as he described. As a result he was arrested for arson and insurance fraud.
If you ever rent a car and sync your phone to the car's entertainment system, everything in your phone is now stored in that system and is available to the authorities.
If you have one of those smart home devices (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) they record and save everything that it hears once you wake it up with the correct phrase. And it can be retrieved by the authorities.
So from a legal standpoint lawyers need to be thinking outside of the box when it comes to evidence. And consumers need to be aware that, more and more, their lives are becoming an open book.