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The Human Body “Black Box”

Wearable Health Tracking Devices, Such as a FitBit, Can Be Used as Evidence

Portable health tracking technology is rapidly advancing and extremely popular. According to a 2014 report, as many as 21% of the US population own, and use, some form of wearable health tracking device. Although intended to promote health, and help monitor activity through the day and night, users may not realize the extent of what the device records, and how it may be helpful, even hurtful to them. Portable health tracking devices can hold a GPS sensor, providing the user’s location. Technology so advanced that law enforcement and some legal experts coined the devices the human body’s “black box.”

Last year in Lancaster, PA, investigators used Fitbit technology to aid the investigation of a criminal case, after a 43 year old woman filed a police report claiming that she had been sexually assaulted while sleeping in her own home. Although investigating officers had reasons to suspect the woman was lying, her Fitbit device confirmed the story was concocted. After reviewing the woman’s Fitbit data, investigators determined that she had been “awake and walking” at the time of the purported incident, not sleeping as she contended. The personal information was used against her in the criminal case, and she was charged for making a false report and tampering with evidence. In an interview with the Today Show, Craig Stedman, a Lancaster County District Attorney, confirmed that “the Fitbit made all the difference”.

With technological advances, law enforcement can be more creative in their effort to fight crime. Law enforcement may now secure a warrant and retrieve personal information from your personal fitness tracker. This data may then be used to exonerate you, or could be used as evidence against you in Court.

Strom Law firm has experience and familiarity with prosecutorial techniques that provides the basis for experienced and effective legal representation.  If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime call us at 803.252.4800 or visit us online at to receive a free consultation.



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