Very Personal Technology and Search and Seizure

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
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Messages
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So with implantable biotech coming into reality, this story caught my eye. Ross Compton, an old dude with a pacemaker, is being tried for arson. While the article is thin on solid details, it looks like that the prosecution obtained his pace maker data, which recorded heart beat rate (nothing to do with the movie), pacer demand (nothing to do with used car sales), and cardiac rhythms (nothing to do with the band). This was all used against him by the prosecution as it seems as though his story did not match up with the physical activity he described in court. Oh its coming...

A cardiologist who reviewed that data determined, "it is highly improbable Mr. Compton would have been able to collect, pack and remove the number of items from the house, exit his bedroom window and carry numerous large and heavy items to the front of his residence during the short period of time he has indicated due to his medical conditions," according to court documents.

"It is just fundamentally unfair to say to a person the functioning of your body and the record of it related to illness that you have...is something that the government should then be able to take and use to incriminate a person," Rossi said.
 

Teenyman45

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Nov 29, 2010
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Isn't it fun to see the Fourth Amendment being repeatedly chipped away?

That's why in the latest (or second latest) edition of Shadowrun, in the game in many parts of the UCAS it was illegal not to have you phone and biometric recorders on and broadcasting for official data collection.
 

Bandalo

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How did they obtain the data? Did he or his doc fork it over freely? Or did they have a warrant specifically for the data?
 

scojer

[H]F Junkie
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Jun 13, 2009
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Wow.

Just, what the hell? My dad has an ICD and it tracks everything, and he sees someone to get it analyzed each month. The fact that they could get that info to incriminate him for a crime is bullshit. What if during that time period, the heart was irregular (it happens)?
 

gxp500

Gawd
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Mar 4, 2015
Messages
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How did they obtain the data? Did he or his doc fork it over freely? Or did they have a warrant specifically for the data?
Odds are the pacemaker comes with a eula where it states the data can be used in any way the company sees fit. In this case helping the police.
 

kju1

2[H]4U
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Mar 27, 2002
Messages
3,460
Saw this years ago seems relevant now:

Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your..."

Customer: "Hi, I'd like to order....."

Operator: "May I have your NIDN first, sir?"

Customer: "My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's 6102049998-45-54610."

Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number at Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302, your cell number's 266-2566 and you are calling
from your home number."

Customer: "Whoa! Where d'ya get all this information?"

Operator: "We're connected to THE SYSTEM, sir."

Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat Special pizzas..."

Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."

Customer: "Whaddya mean?"

Operator: "Sir, your medical records indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."

Customer: "! So what do you recommend, then?"

Operator: "You might try our low-fat Soybean Yogurt Pizza. I'm sure you'll like it."

Customer: "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"

Operator: "Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from your local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion."

Customer: "All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then. What's the damage?"

Operator: "That should be plenty for you, your wife and your four kids, sir. The 'damage,' as you put it, heh, heh, comes to $49.99."

Customer: "Lemme give you my credit card number."

Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash. Your credit card balance is over its limit."

Customer: "I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your driver gets here."

Operator: "That won't work either, sir. Your checking account's overdrawn."

Customer: "Never mind. Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash ready. How long will it take?"

Operator: "We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about 45 minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick 'em up while you're out getting the cash, but carrying pizzas on a motorcycle can be a little awkward."

Customer: "How do you know I'm riding a bike?"

Operator: "It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so your car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid up, so I just assumed that you'd be using it."

Customer: ????


Operator: "I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a July 2006 conviction for cussing out a cop."

Customer: (Speechless)

Operator: "Will there be anything else, sir?"

Customer: "No, nothing. Oh, yeah, don't forget the two free liters of Coke your ad says I get with the pizzas."

Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents us from offering free soda to diabetics."
 

Bandalo

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jnmunsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
336
I do have a problem with this case. There are certain things that should be completely off limits to even warrants. In our future machines will be able to read our thoughts to the extent they can be used as evidence. Nope and more nope/ I don't care if the guy assassinates the president and blows up Disney World, what's in his brain stays there. In many states it is legal to get a warranty to take someone's blood for suspicion of a DWI. Seriously, that's nuts. Oh but they got a warrant. An attorney here in Houston told me a while back that every warranty request since they started doing it in Houston in 2010 was granted - every single one. No abuse of power there... Allc op has to say is, "I smelled alcohol on his breath." There are no consequences to the cop when blood comes back 0.0%.
 

SuperSubZero

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Messages
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Wonder how you guys would treat this if it was done for beneficial purposes.

"Well, we found this guy, and he's delirious and can't remember anything. We think he's off his medication. He wasn't carrying any ID. He does however have a serialized medical device installed in his body."

"Did he give permission to get the information from that device?"

"no"

"Put him back where you found him. It's the only right thing to do. FREEDOM!!!"
 

kju1

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
3,460
Wonder how you guys would treat this if it was done for beneficial purposes.

"Well, we found this guy, and he's delirious and can't remember anything. We think he's off his medication. He wasn't carrying any ID. He does however have a serialized medical device installed in his body."

"Did he give permission to get the information from that device?"

"no"

"Put him back where you found him. It's the only right thing to do. FREEDOM!!!"

Apples and oranges.
 

Maxx

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
1,648
They had enough evidence to get a judge to issue a warrant...so I don't personally have a problem with this particular case.

A warrant in this case makes sense. Any average person knowing this man's condition and his depiction of the events would likely be very skeptical about him being capable of escaping with that many items that quickly. Let's change it around it a bit. Let's say it was a poor, young, urban black male who claimed he didn't do a robbery because he was at a party in the Ritz-Carlton. Would you be likely to believe him? Would it be racist to think he was lying? Maybe, maybe not, in both cases, but if you then found out he had a cellphone on him with location services on during that time frame you would probably be able to get a warrant. One side would say, if what he says is true, why would he refuse the entry of that data? Privacy? On the other hand, people would defend his right against the leverage of technology. The fact is forensics has been testing the lines for a long time and technology is definitely, wholly inside of that scope, but you still require probable cause to seek that data...and stating your case when it involves you playing Schrodinger's Cat with a source of information is more along the lines of, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" rather than a defense by Atticus Finch. That is to say that throwing up a defense of privacy every time a case comes along only undermines your position when you have plenty of situations where common sense dictates against your assertion (and common law as the basis of U.S. law is essentially founded on common sense).
 
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Bandalo

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A warrant in this case makes sense. Any average person knowing this man's condition and his depiction of the events would likely be very skeptical about him being capable of escaping with that many items that quickly. Let's change it around it a bit. Let's say it was a poor, young, urban black male who claimed he didn't do a robbery because he was at a party in the Ritz-Carlton. Would you be likely to believe him? Would it be racist to think he was lying? Maybe, maybe not, in both cases, but if you then found out he had a cellphone on him with location services on during that time frame you would probably be able to get a warrant. One side would say, if what he says is true, why would he refuse the entry of that data? Privacy? On the other hand, people would defend his right against the leverage of technology. The fact is forensics has been testing the lines for a long time and technology is definitely, wholly inside of that scope, but you still require probable cause to seek that data...and stating your case when it involves you playing Schrodinger's Cat with a source of information is more along the lines of, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" rather than a defense by Atticus Finch. That is to say that throwing up a defense of privacy every time a case comes along only undermines your position when you have plenty of situations where common sense dictates against your assertion (and common law as the basis of U.S. law is essentially founded on common sense).

I think you're always going to have the fight between law enforcement and personal privacy. People want crimes solved, and people want privacy. There's a balance to be struck, and that line is going to constantly shift with new technology.

In this particular case, I think law enforcement was fully justified and acted properly. That probably won't always be the case.
 

Chupachup

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Jan 12, 2014
Messages
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Wonder how you guys would treat this if it was done for beneficial purposes.

"Well, we found this guy, and he's delirious and can't remember anything. We think he's off his medication. He wasn't carrying any ID. He does however have a serialized medical device installed in his body."

"Did he give permission to get the information from that device?"

"no"

"Put him back where you found him. It's the only right thing to do. FREEDOM!!!"
Identifying a person from some unique identifier on a device or prosthetic, as part of a lost-and-found, is totally different than using that built-in device or prosthetic to track or backtrack a person's activity (actual or perceived through interpretation)....guilty or not.

Are you for defaulting all people with "smart" devices and prosthetics to forfeit their right to privacy and the ability to claim their right against self incrimination? If you are, then you establish a subset of society where the rule of law does not apply equally- if at all validly under the Constitution.

It sounds like this guys story sealed his own fate, as enough evidence already existed to satisfy a judge to sign the warrant. In this, I have no issue.

The fact they were able to obtain what is truly personal data (his body's runtime logs) and turn it against him without allowing an affirmative defense seems unimaginable given they had other evidence in the case. It's tantamount to pulling memories from the suspects head against their will in order to defeat any attempted defense. Here, they subpoenaed the third party responsible for monitoring because they had a suspect who was most likely not being as cooperative as they'd have liked.

This case shows where this type of information can be both an aid to law enforcement and an issue for possible abuse. Scary!
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I'm usually one of the first to question if the authorities have crossed the line.

They had reasonable cause and enough evidence to procure a legal warrant. The warrant validated what they already had reasonable cause to believe.

I fail to see the violation of rights here.
 

umeng2002

Gawd
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May 23, 2008
Messages
923
This is beyond the pale. There will be people refusing to have pacemakers implanted over these types of fears.

Those prosecutors should rot in hell.
 

Bandalo

2[H]4U
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This is beyond the pale. There will be people refusing to have pacemakers implanted over these types of fears.

Those prosecutors should rot in hell.

That's fine...they'd probably suffocate under their tin-foil hats.

So what should the prosecutors have done? Let the guy get away with arson? What if it was a murder case?

They followed the law, got a warrant and got the records, then prosecuted the guy. That's what they're supposed to do.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
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Messages
13,538
Identifying a person from some unique identifier on a device or prosthetic, as part of a lost-and-found, is totally different than using that built-in device or prosthetic to track or backtrack a person's activity (actual or perceived through interpretation)....guilty or not.

Are you for defaulting all people with "smart" devices and prosthetics to forfeit their right to privacy and the ability to claim their right against self incrimination? If you are, then you establish a subset of society where the rule of law does not apply equally- if at all validly under the Constitution.

It sounds like this guys story sealed his own fate, as enough evidence already existed to satisfy a judge to sign the warrant. In this, I have no issue.

The fact they were able to obtain what is truly personal data (his body's runtime logs) and turn it against him without allowing an affirmative defense seems unimaginable given they had other evidence in the case. It's tantamount to pulling memories from the suspects head against their will in order to defeat any attempted defense. Here, they subpoenaed the third party responsible for monitoring because they had a suspect who was most likely not being as cooperative as they'd have liked.

This case shows where this type of information can be both an aid to law enforcement and an issue for possible abuse. Scary!

Private information is private information. It cannot be treated differently in the eyes of the law based on the purpose it would be used for. If you say it is okay to retrieve private data with a warrant to identify a person, then it should be okay to retrieve private data for any other purpose.

Here is why your attempt to differentiate creates a paradox: The identification information retrieved reveals the person has an outstanding warrant. However, with your view on it, they should let said person go because the police would have never found out who the person was without running said identification.
 

Tekara

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 6, 2003
Messages
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I have more than a few concerns over this being allowable! The tinfoil fears that I have are when another major incident such as the Boston Marathon Bombing happens and there is a public outcry for someone to take the blame, can the authorities use this kind of data to basically create a scapegoat out of John Q. Public to keep the peace. For a good number of years, iffy witness testimonies have been used in this fashion to indict thousands for crimes they have been proven through DNA to have not committed. With more and more human data available to incriminate people that is beyond the understanding of a lay person, we may all find ourselves that one sacrifice to preserve the many.
 

rudy

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Messages
8,704
This case could go to the supreme court. Seems like it touches on a lot of issues. Probably client patient privileges, self incrimination, etc....

I won't cast an opinion one way or the other. DNA is the most personal part of you, but we have been using it to prosecute people for a long time now. If the police cannot get you to give it up they find it through an alternative source, your family members, a glass you drank from etc.... In this case they found an alternative source to his private information.
 

Tsumi

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I have more than a few concerns over this being allowable! The tinfoil fears that I have are when another major incident such as the Boston Marathon Bombing happens and there is a public outcry for someone to take the blame, can the authorities use this kind of data to basically create a scapegoat out of John Q. Public to keep the peace. For a good number of years, iffy witness testimonies have been used in this fashion to indict thousands for crimes they have been proven through DNA to have not committed. With more and more human data available to incriminate people that is beyond the understanding of a lay person, we may all find ourselves that one sacrifice to preserve the many.

And that is why no one should try to get out of jury duty. Juries are one of the checks that civilians have against the government. The authorities are not all powerful, they only will be if the civilian population lets them be.
 

sabrewolf732

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6102049998-45-54610."

to offer you a different perspective...

I work in a hospital. Patients frequently come in due to making terrible life choices. We get them better, they go home and continue to make the same life choices. The cost of these 3-5 day visits? Thousands to tens of thousands.
 

Khahhblaab

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
481
I agree that cases like this will go to the supreme court as soon as someone defends his right against "self incrimination". Effectively, having a warrant to retrieve information that is being contained within someones body, is forcing someone to implicate themselves.

I am not always in agreement as to how some folks seem to get away "with it" by saying in testifying I will implicate myself and I have a right not to. But forcing evidence out of someone brings forth ideas of waterboarding or other means to force someone to incriminate themselves. Electronic truth serum. No more right to remain silent, we will use technology to get around the fifth amendment.

A very interesting situation because there are no scars <newly created>, no screams, no anything that would be considered by the human rights activists as being cruel and unusual. Almost along the lines of a rfid scanner getting credit card info surreptitiously. The person wasnt even touched. And its exactly this that makes it a situation that is difficult to properly measure the extended implications of. What is really going on?

1984 has already arrived. How soon before lawmakers and new tech will ok "Minority report"?
 

kju1

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to offer you a different perspective...

I work in a hospital. Patients frequently come in due to making terrible life choices. We get them better, they go home and continue to make the same life choices. The cost of these 3-5 day visits? Thousands to tens of thousands.

I am not sure what you are implying here. Are you saying we should be stopping them from drinking, smoking, eating poorly etc?
 

sabrewolf732

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Messages
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kju1 ,As nice as the sound of giving people the freedom to make correct choices is, I don't quite think it's panning out.
 
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