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Logging Evidence: Smart Devices, Privacy, and the Law

Posted: Apr 25, 2017

Can your cellphone’s GPS be used to estimate the speed that you were driving before an accident? Will your smart watch’s heartrate monitor be used against you in a criminal case? Welcome to the “Internet of Things” and the legal ramifications of the many devices that we use every day to track, analyze, and store personal data about who we are and what we do. Not too long ago, police and prosecutors in Arkansas made the news when they sought to obtain recordings and information from an Amazon Echo owned by a suspect in a murder investigation. And just this week, police in Connecticut charged a man with the murder of his wife after they discovered that her FitBit continued to log steps after the time at which her husband told police that an intruder had shot her.

These incidents are likely not to be the last of many situations in which smart devices will be used as evidence in the near future. While still novel, the law is catching up and in some cases is already fairly settled. Brush up on privacy, data security, and evidence law with the following resources in our collection:

Peter M. Lefkowitz, “Making Sense of the Internet of Things,” Boston B.J., Fall 2015, at 22

Seventeenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law (2016)
Co-chairs, Francoise Gilbert, Lisa J. Sotto, Thomas J. Smedinghoff
Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law
Available at 4th floor Reading Room        KF1262 .I57 2016 V.1

Government Investigations, 2016: Handling Corporate Investigations Resulting from a Breach of Electronic Information and Parallel Proceedings
Chair: Ronald J. Hedges
Available at 4th floor Reading Room KF4942.A75 G68 2016

Proskauer on Privacy: A Guide to Privacy and Data Security Law in the Information Age
/ Kristen J. Mathews, editor.
Available at 4th floor Reading Room        KF1263.C65 P76 2016)

Search and Seizure
/ John Wesley Hall, Jr.
Available at 4th floor Reading Room        KF9630 .H34 2013

Arkfeld on Electronic Discovery and Evidence
/ Michael R. Arkfeld
Available at 4th floor Reading Room        KF8947 A97 2015