Smart Devices May Help Solve Crimes. But At What Cost To Consumer Privacy?
Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old, went missing after she went for a jog in the evening. She had her Fitbit fitness tracker and cell phone with her. The phone was switched off or dead. Along with following her social media footprint, the law enforcement used her Fitbit to gain more information to learn about her whereabouts.
The investigators got information from the Fitbit about the route she most likely took along details like her heart rate at specific times. Geotagging, usually used for advertising and marketing, has now come to the rescue of the law enforcement. Smart tech has already been used before by the law enforcement.
Alexa Echo recordings were admitted as evidence in a 2017 murder trial and the FBI went head-to-head with Apple over unlocking a suspect’s smartphone following the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack.
While consumers have had negative reactions as to how data collected by firms is used, it is not clear how they feel about it now that law enforcement are using this information to solve crimes. It mostly depends on the level of brand trust. Fitbit is transparent about collecting data and hence, the users are fairly happy.
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