A decent bloke with no known enemies dies after being shot with a crossbow. How did technology lead to the killer? And what else might that technology be used for?
I wrote last year about a motor insurance case called Wise v Hegarty & Alpha Insurance under the headline When the car sneaks on you and your social media betrays you.
It was about an alleged motor accident which had caused insurers to investigate the telematics data in one of the cars. Telematics embraces vehicle movements and telecommunications and it lies behind the “black box” devices which insurers use primarily to evaluate the driving skills of insured drivers. It can do much more than that, however, including keeping records of the times of engines starting and stopping, the opening and closing of doors, and the history of speeds and locations. It doesn’t just record these things, but transmits them for immediate analysis. In the car accident case, the telematics data showed no relevant activity of time, place and movement. Once the court accepted that the equipment was capable of making such records and had done so, that sufficed to damn both the vehicle owners.
Similar equipment and deductions have now helped convict a man for shooting another man with a crossbow. When I say “helped” I mean that without it, the police would have had a problem converting their initial lead into hard evidence.
I think that few of my readers are likely to come across car insurance fraud or crossbow murders. My purpose in pointing you to the stories is the increasing prevalence of electronic data quietly reporting on your every move. And by “your”, I mean every move made by clients, their opponents, the witnesses, and every other participant in a crime or civil dispute. Continue reading