Technology has always been intimately linked to the human body. From sharpened flint to smartphones, we’ve been carrying our inventions for millennia—but the relationship is about to get even closer. The next generation of electronic devices might not just be near our bodies, they could be powered by them.
While that fitness band or smartwatch you own may help you get in shape or never miss an appointment, the data it collects is now also fodder for criminal or civil litigation.
In what’s thought to be a first-of-its-kind civil lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer in Canada used data from a Fitbit wristband in an insurance fraud case to support his client’s claims.
Previously, insurance civil suits relied on physician examinations and not historical data collected from a wearable.
…Wearables not only track physical activity, but they can transmit geolocation information, and more sophisticated wearables, like Google Glass, can also take photos and videos and perform web searches.
Shakoori said she is not aware of any other civil case where data from wearables is being used to prove or disprove a claim, but “I do think that’s coming down the pike. It’s just a matter of time.”
This sounds like even X-rays, EKG, MRI or CAT scan results or even just doctor’s notes could be at risk. So, if an insurance company thinks you are lying about your disability claim, they could ask law enforcement to grab up the X-ray of that broken ankle you suffered playing in the beer softball league. You don’t need a wearable for any of that. But who thinks that you can file an insurance claim and then claim medical privacy in order to avoid handing over data necessary to evaluate your claim?