The Age of Testifying Wearable Devices: The Case of Intoxication Detection.

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Seven years ago, a famous case in which data from a Fitbit
tracker was used in the courtroom in a personal injury case
heralded a new age: the age of testifying wearable devices.
Prior to that, data from wearable devices was used in various
areas, including medicine, advertising, and scientific research,
but the use of such data in the Fitbit case attracted the
interest of a new sector: the legal sector. Since then, lawyers,
investigators, detectives, and police officers have used data
from pacemakers and smartwatches in order to prove/disprove
allegations regarding wearable device owners in several wellknown cases (sexual assault, arson, personal injury, etc.).
In this paper, we discuss testifying wearable devices. We
explain the advantages of wearable devices over traditional
IoT devices in the legal setting, the parties involved in cases
in which a wearable device was used to testify against/for the
device owner, and the information flow. We then focus on an
interesting area of research: intoxication detection. We explain
the motivation to detect whether a subject was intoxicated and
explain the primary scientific gap in this area. In order to
overcome this gap, we suggest a new method for detecting
whether a subject was intoxicated based on free gait data
obtained from a wearable device. We evaluate the performance
of the proposed method in a user study involving 30 subjects
and show that motion sensor data obtained from a smartphone
and fitness tracker from eight seconds of free gait can indicate
whether a subject is/was intoxicated (obtaining an AUC of
0.97) and thus be used as testimony. Finally, we analyze
the current state and the near future of the age of testifying
wearable devices and explain why we believe that (1) we are
still at the beginning of this age despite the fact that seven
years has passed since the original court case, and (2) the
number of cases in which wearable device data is used to
testify for/against the device owner is expected to increase
significantly in the next few years.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)1504
Number of pages1
JournalIACR Cryptology ePrint Archive
StatePublished - 2020


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