Within the past year or so a phenomena has happened, so many different people have become obsessed with fitness trackers. These trackers are supposed to help the wearer be healthier. Different fitness tracker have varied and different features. Some trackers are able to only measure the amount of time that the wearer is active, or as much information as the heartbeat of the wearer. Overall the point is that the user wears a piece of technology on their wrist or around their neck that counts the time and speed of their movement.

These fitness trackers have amazing possibilities for law enforcement that have nothing to do with making sure that the wearer their fitness goal for the day. Wearable technology have tracking implications for potential defendants, victims, and law enforcement officers. It is technology that is tracking people every second of the day, perhaps with GPS or perhaps with just an indication that the wearer was running for an hour.

In March police were able to access the fitness data to discover that a reported crime was actually false. The police checked the fitness data for the alleged victim, which indicated that there was no movement and that the wearer was most likely asleep. That along with other evidence led the police to doubt the report.

There is a possibility that particular trackers could even monitor law enforcement with specific goals. The implications are that these wearable technologies could protect the police by indicating when dispatchers should call for back up. The technology could help reduce police brutality.

For the average wearer this should not deter them from using these devices. Their data is not yet freely given to police, it is likely to have the same privacy protections as health or cellular phone data. It is clear that this is still one more device that can be used to track, observe, or verify what people are doing through the day. Overall, get up and move, but make sure that users are aware of how user created data can be used for or against them.

Cassidi Hammock

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