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Wearable Computers: Anything You Wear Can and Will Be Used against You in a Court of Law

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin car crash lawyer, car crashWearable computers have been hailed as a major technology breakthrough over the past few years, and the technology industry has been betting heavily on their success. From the Google Glass to the Apple Watch, these new computers are slowly making their way into people's lives. Now, they have started making their way into the courtroom. A plaintiff in a personal injury case in Canada is now using evidence from a Fitbit, a wearable computer that tracks a person's activity level, to prove that a person's quality of life changed after an accident.

What Fitbits Are

Fitbits are a wristband that contains a small computer display. Fitbit was designed as an exercise and weight loss aid, a sort of pedometer plus. It links up with a person's smartphone to measure his or her activity, how he or she eats, how he or she exercises, and even his or her quality of sleep. This essentially creates a record of how active someone is throughout the day.

How the Case is Using One.

The case using this new type of evidence centers around a former personal trainer. She was injured in an accident, and her lawyers are now using her Fitbit to show how the accident has impacted her life. Importantly, the accident occurred before Fitbits were even on the marketplace, so they are not trying to show a before and after picture with a comparison of the victim's Fitbit data. Instead, her lawyers are using special software to run a statistical analysis on her activity level as reported by the device. Then, they will compare that activity level to other people of her age to show that she went from being a personal trainer with a highly active lifestyle to some who is less active than the average woman her age.

Future Concerns

As is so often the case when new technology starts interacting with the law, this case is also raising some concerns about people's privacy. In this case, the woman requested her own data, and Fitbit is providing it voluntarily. However, not all cases will look like that. Instead, some cases may see the defendants requesting data from a plaintiff's Fitbit to try to undermine the claims about the severity of the plaintiff's injuries. There may even be cases where it would be beneficial to the case to see data from a third party's Fitbit. In many ways, these devices are like a human version of an airplane's black box, something that will naturally have unfortunate privacy implications.

Personal injury law can be field where cutting edge developments make all the difference in the case. If you have recently been the victim of another person's carelessness, and you want to learn more about your options for recovery, reach out to an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today to discuss your case.

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