Why Fitness Monitors May Make You Lose More Than You Thought

Everyone loves FitBits. They are the perfect tool to help get back in shape, wake up in time for work, monitor heart levels, and even answer calls and texts. They come in every color, making it a fashion-do, and they’re light to wear all day, every day. Some people can’t live without them. FitBits are great tools, and they offer a sense of control in one’s life that the modern world now demands. But what about the common argument of “information over-share” that seems to be a fault in most tech-trackers and location enabled devices? Can your FitBit be gaining a little too much information for comfort?

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In recent events, the data gathered from FitBits have been used as evidence in courts of law. As crazy as that sounds, it’s happening in today’s court system. In one instance, the data was used to overturn a case decision when a Pennsylvania woman reported being raped in the middle of the night. While the woman claimed she was sleeping when the event occurred, her FitBit tracker suggested otherwise, proving she was actually very active the entire night. She was charged with filing a false report and her accuser was proven innocent. Other times, the data from FitBits, Apple Watches, and Google health bands were used as evidence to indirectly prove claims, both true and false, in a court of law.

In terms of legality, though the United States Supreme Court applied the Fourth Amendment to the digital domain, if the user of the device gives any access whatsoever to their devices’ content to police or the prosecutor, that information can be used to prove claims right and wrong within a court of law. Even if the user doesn’t allow access, a prosecutor can still obtain a warrant to obtain the information from FitBit’s servers, which would prove to be even easier than accessing it from the FitBit user in question.

The reality is that any data-collecting device can be used as a tool or a weapon in a court of law. Though this can be scary to some, it’s just something to be cognizant about in all aspects of your daily life from internet searching to getting in shape.

Schulz Stephenson Law represents clients in Family Law and Divorce matters in Carteret County, NC including Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Cape Carteret, and Emerald Isle as well as New Bern and other areas in Craven County, Pamlico County and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a consultation so we can further discuss your legal situation.

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August 27, 2015 in Schulz Stephenson Law Blog