Data is invading the legal system, but is such an invasion all that bad?
Devices we carry have transformed the way we communicate, exercise and keep organised. The devices collect data related to location, vital signs, sleep patterns, and physical activity, to say the least, and create detailed description of our everyday activities and habits. Such data is then compiled and stored in 'the cloud,' increasing the number of potential evidence available during legal proceedings. How reliable is such data that is making an impact on the legal system? I guess this depends entirely on the case concerned.
For example, a court in Germany used Apple Health and GPS data to provide crucial evidence in a murder trial in which data of 'climbing stairs' on the suspects app correlated to him dragging a victim down a river bank and climbing back up. In other cases, a man accused of murder called for Amazon Alexa recordings to prove his innocence.
Use of such data, so long as reliable, appears advantageous in the legal system. The combination of data with other innovative concepts (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) are also transforming the legal (and other) systems, by minimizing “relatively formulaic and process- or volume-driven” work; saving time and costs.
Artificial Intelligence is not able to use data to formulate complex adversarial arguments which fundamentally involve human elements: intuition, judgment, emotion, memory, perception and so on, ensuring service providers (legal, medical and many others) are not replaced, well not any time soon.
The legal system should take advantage of the benefits advanced technologies, AI and use of data has to offer.
Data is invading the legal system. In January, prosecutors in Germany presented a court with data from an iPhone suggesting a suspect was climbing stairs when it was alleged he had been dragging a body down a steep bank. It isn’t the only case of its kind: pacemaker data has been used in US courts as evidence against a wearer and data from fitness trackers has been used to indicate how, for example, a person’s lifestyle has changed after an injury.