Fitbit activity data as evidence in court, wearables serve as personal black boxes

The data collected by our life trackers shows trends in activity and if an accident causes a degradation in activity then that data may serve to justify compensation.

Last year I wrote that healthcare reform should include activity trackers as ways to reward activity and help reduce the cost of care for preventative issues. An incredible amount of data is tracked by millions of people, including myself, who wear activity trackers 24/7. These devices serve as black boxes for people, with the data possibly being used for or against the wearer.

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According to a Forbes article, data from a Fitbit tracker is being used in court to show degradation in a person's activity as a result of an accident. Demonstrating the impact of an accident on one's lifestyle is usually subjective and rather difficult to prove, but with detailed data available it becomes much easier to show trends.

While the data being used in this case comes from the woman's Fitbit, it is being processed through the Vivametrica analytics platform. As I just wrote about a week ago, having access to your historical data is a key component to choosing a robust activity tracking system.

I wear some kind of activity tracker on a daily basis and have been for the past four years. It is easy to see the trends in my activity and I think there are many more ways to use this data for good rather than for using it against me. As small business looks at increases in health care costs approaching 20 percent this year, I would like to see cost incentives for those who track their activity and demonstrate some level of daily or weekly activity.

Related ZDNet activity tracker coverage