Your Fitbit could help (or hurt) you in the courtroom

With personal injury cases, it’s difficult to determine whether or not someone deserves compensation when they can’t work. If someone is in a car accident and is injured as a result, it’s the subjective perspective of doctors that calls the shots. But this might be changing. A firm in Calgary, McLeod Law, is working on […]

With personal injury cases, it’s difficult to determine whether or not someone deserves compensation when they can’t work. If someone is in a car accident and is injured as a result, it’s the subjective perspective of doctors that calls the shots. But this might be changing.

A firm in Calgary, McLeod Law, is working on the first known case that will use activity data from a Fitbit to help show the effects of an accident on their client. Turns out the woman was very physically active before, but she has seen the affects from the injury. Even though Fitbits or other wearables weren’t around when she had the accident, they could potentially have a case by comparing her current results to the general population by putting the data through the analytics platform Vivametrica.

“Till now we’ve always had to rely on clinical interpretation,” her lawyer, Simon Muller of McLeod Law said. “Now we’re looking at longer periods of time though the course of a day, and we have hard data.” His plaintiff will share her Fitbit data with Vivametrica for several months as part of an assessment period. “We’re expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury.”

Technology is always evolving, and therefore the law must move along with it. Facebook information has been included in cases, and the Fitbit situation is now taking it to a new level. But just like anything in this realm, what could be a good thing for some could end up being a violation of privacy for others.

Wearable devices could become a “black box” for the human body, said Matthew Pearn on Claims Canada, who says several previous court cases have already paved the way for more invasive disclosure of digital information in the court room.

Personal information from wearables will likely be used on both ends of the courtroom in the future as evidence.

This could definitely get interesting.

[Photo from flickr user Gadgetmac]