Smart devices that snitch on you

Internet-connected, data-collecting smart devices such as fitness trackers, digital home assistants, thermostats, TVs and even pill bottles are beginning to transform criminal justice.

The ubiquitous devices can serve as a legion of witnesses, capturing our every move, biometrics and what we have ingested. They sometimes listen in or watch us in the privacy of our homes. And police are increasingly looking to the devices for clues.

The business research company Gartner estimates 8.4 billion devices were connected to the internet in 2017, a 31 percent increase over the previous year.

In a world of truly ubiquitous connectivity where we are recording our heartbeat, our steps, our location if all of that data is now available to law enforcement without a warrant, that is a big change. And that’s a big invasion of what most of us think our privacy should include.