Fitbit, a wearable device that tracks user's movement and other personal metrics, has been used to provide evidence in court for the first time.
However, it was not used in a way that you might think – as an alibi to where a person was, or what it was doing at the time of a certain criminal activity.
Instead, its data is being used in a case involving an accident and the claimant's health.
A female fitness instructor has been using Fitbit to keep track of different health metrics and her lawyers that represent her claim that the data shows below average activity levels since the accident, backing up the claim that is has had a negative, lasting effect on her health.
“Until now we’ve always had to rely on clinical interpretation,” her lawyer Simon Muller told Forbes. “Now we’re looking at longer periods of time though the course of a day and we have hard data.”
That data, claims the lawyer, will show that she can’t be as active as she used to be.
“We’re expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury,” he said.
However, activities vary from person to person, and it’s very hard to use this data in court.
That’s why the lawyers won’t use the data directly. They will feed the data to analytics platform Vivametrica, which uses public research to compare a person’s activity data with that of the general population.
Muller added that a lot of people want to use this kind of data for personal injury claims.
“I’m already lining up more clients with a variety of circumstances to use this data,” he says. “You can’t rely on just one piece of data. You have to get all the pieces lined up.”