Technology is a part of our daily lives. Data is collected on most all of our activities. What music you listen to, what apps you download and use, your location, when you make calls, search results on the internet, what roads you drive, the speed of your vehicle and how much you exercise. Obviously, this is just a small list of the data collected. How can this data be used?
In a recent Court case pending in Canada, data from the popular Fitbit is being used. The plaintiff is a personal trainer and is involved a personal injury lawsuit and is attempting to prove that her physical activity is less than the normal range for her profession and age.
The reason we bring this to your attention is that as technology advances, it becomes more involved in our lives. Thus, it becomes normal that the data from technology will enter into the Courtroom in an attempt to support or defend particular positions. As this technology becomes more prevalent, we need to look at the data and the collection of the data to determine if the data is accurate and reliable. Can the data be manipulated?
As digital data is being collected, depending upon the data being used, it could be a reflection and record of the activity of a person in a particular day. Or is it accurate? How will this be handled if a person’s memory of an event is different than what the data reflects? Which evidence, the data collected or personal witness testimony, will be more reliable and trustworthy? These will be just a few of the questions many of us will deal with as data is collected and used in Court.