It is about two years since people started predicting that the Internet of Things would become a source of potentially discoverable evidence. At the time, Fitbits recurred as a theoretical example of a device which could yield useful material in a civil or criminal case.
That has now happened in Connecticut – the story is here. A husband told police that an intruder had killed his wife. He was quite specific about the time – he got home at about 9:00am after taking his children to school and was attacked by an intruder who shot his wife and then tied him to a chair.
His wife’s Fitbit showed that she was still moving until 10:05, an hour after the alleged shooting.
As with other such cases, the device was not the only evidence – there was no sign of the struggle reported by the husband, and sniffer dogs picked up no scent of a third person. Furthermore, the husband was in a relationship with another woman who was expecting his baby. No one of these bits of evidence is conclusive, but they all help build a case.
We have yet to see what part the Fitbit evidence plays in any future proceedings. You may say that you cannot foresee any possibility of a Fitbit playing a part in any of your cases. Perhaps not – but look around you and see how many other devices there are in your possession or in the possession of those with whom you interact.
Remember also that this kind of evidence may work both ways – it may equally help to convict or to exonerate. In a civil context, it may help prove that you were – or were not – at a meeting.