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Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Fitbit

With the surge in popularity of fitness trackers in recent years, the devices' data collections are playing a more present role in the legal system and process, Wired writes.

The intrigue: Fitness devices like FitBit track heart rate, sleep patterns and daily activity. In the 2018 case of California woman, Karen Navarra, her FitBit detailed the last of her heartbeat as she was murdered. Using security footage, officials began to suspect Navarra's stepfather had been to Navarra's home at the time she died, and he was later arrested on murder charges.

  • Location data proved useful in a personal injury case in Canada in 2014, as well as a Pennsylvania sexual assault case in 2015, per the New York Times.
  • In 2016, FitBit data was used to eliminate a slain Wisconsin woman's live-in boyfriend as a murder suspect, Wired reports.

Between the lines: Using material collected from wearables as evidence comes with the built-in assumption that "data is equivalent to truth," Antigone Peyton, an intellectual property and technology lawyer, told Wired.

  • But, but, but ... Wired notes that: "An analysis of 67 studies on Fitbit's movement tracking concluded that the device worked best on able-bodied adults walking at typical speeds. Even then, the devices weren't perfect—they got within 10 percent of the actual number of steps a person took half of the time—and became even less accurate in counting steps when someone was resting their wrist on a walker or stroller, for example."
  • What's more: to date, no appellate court has weighed in on a case that cited the fitness tracker data.

The bottom line: "How other judges decide the validity of Fitbit information will likely continue to be decided in the slow burn of the legal system," Wired writes. There remain "many ways the information on these devices can be interpreted."

Go deeper: Genetic testing firms share your DNA data more than you think

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

5 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.