Paranoid? You should be. Turns out all those smart devices and apps on your phone praised as time-saving, efficient, and easy to use have an added bonus: they can testify against you in court. These electronic assistants offer an “always on” status designed to listen for your every wish and command. However, the other things overheard by the devices can be recorded and saved, without your permission. If you’re thinking that you never confess your crimes out loud, even when no one else is home, you could still be in trouble: exercise and location trackers are also being used by police to support or disprove alibis.
FitBit to the rescue – sort of
All these new exercise apps and bracelets and watches seem designed to shame me for only walking 150 steps per day. But apparently they have some real uses: narcing you out to the police. Feel like lying and saying you were pulled out of bed and sexually assaulted? There’s a FitBit record to disprove that! Are you a squeaky clean Australian politician who claims you’d never take bribes, and hey this $50,000 in cash in your luggage is “for a friend”? Your Apple Watch wants to tell every newspaper on the planet where you really were and what you said, texted, and dreamed about (probably). Claim an intruder broke in and killed your wife? Her FitBit proves she actually was up and walking around (not running) when you stated she was being murdered in front of your cheating eyes.
What I’m saying, as a criminal defense lawyer, is just remember that your devices are called “smart” for a reason, okay?
Alexa/Echo/Siri is always listening
The year is 2017 and you’re never really alone, even if you might want to be. Those futuristic, femininely named devices that let you control your whole life without lifting a finger may be recording what happens when you’re not talking to them. Alexa can’t call 911, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no record of what’s happening.
Your TV and streaming service is also probably listening to your conversation, tracking your viewing habits and selling them. Vizio, Samsung, and LG have all been cited for failing to fully disclose how much their TVs overhear, and what they do with that information. And with the wide array of devices about to hit shelves for Black Friday and holiday shopping, no end is in sight, and no toy is safe. The FBI even issued a warning to parents that so-called smart toys were likely recording their children’s conversations.
As much as these privacy issues can be scary, they do offer a ray of hope for people who have been accused of crimes they didn’t commit. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, I am ready to review your FitBit and step count for the past three years if that’s what it takes to protect you. When you need a serious Annapolis criminal defense lawyer, call 410-777-8103 or complete my contact form to schedule an initial conversation. Just remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.