In Alexa is the electronically stored information (ESI) which could help convict or let off the hook a suspect.
Likewise, imaginative players in the legal system can envision retrieving the data in an electronically controlled DIY psychotherapy device which could contribute data about a defendant's state of mind before an alleged murder. The same could apply to the growing number of fitness apps.
The kind of powerful tool ESI can be in the court system is discussed today in TechCrunch. Here you can read it.
The challenge, though, is to get prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges up-to-speed on what ESI can be used for and its limits. That extends from spotting its possible value in a case to being technically competent enough to cross-examine a witness about the facts and implications of ESI.
In addition, there would have to be a simplified but technically accurate method to explain ESI to juries. That is analogous to what has to be done during trials involving complex financial transactions.
It's easy to look ahead to a time when lawyers will appeal verdicts because ESI was not used properly or presented accurately to the jurors. It could play as seminal a role as DNA does currently.
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