Fitbit Data to Be Submitted as Court Evidence

Wearable tech numbers used for personal injury claim

Nov 20, 2014
Outside Magazine
fitbit court canada wearable tech

Wearable fitness monitors are a "black box" for the human body.    Courtesy of Fitbit

In a never-before-seen legal maneuver, a personal trainer in Canada will attempt to use data from her Fitbit activity tracker as evidence for a personal injury claim, reports Forbes. She hopes to demonstrate that since her injury, her activity levels have remained below the baseline for women of her age and line of work, making her deserving of compensation.

The plaintiff’s Fitbit data won’t be used directly. First, the data will be processed through Vivametrica, an analytics platform that compares individual results with the general population. It remains unclear exactly which metrics will be used for comparison.

The case could set a significant precedent. As one of her lawyers told Forbes, wearable tech data could just as well be applied in reverse to either deny a personal injury claim or prosecute a phony one. “Insurers will want it as much as plaintiffs will,” he was quoted as saying.

Writing for the Atlantic, Kate Crawford raises a number of concerns about using data from fitness monitors as legal evidence, including privacy if courts were to start compelling disclosure of health tracker data. She also notes how unreliable wearable monitors can be, particularly when taking into account the wide variability of brands and data collection techniques.

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