Apple Health data used in German murder case

Apple Health comes pre-installed on newer iPhones / Apple.com

A court in Germany has used Apple Health data to provide crucial evidence in a murder trial.

Charged with rape and murder, the accused, Hussein K, has admitted his guilt but disputed some details.

However, the police have said data suggesting he was “climbing stairs” on the app could correlate to him dragging his victim, 19-year-old medical student Maria Ladenburger, down a riverbank and climbing back up.

Similar readings were recorded after an investigator of a similar build recreated how police believe he disposed of the body.

The app, which comes pre-installed on Apple devices, records steps, nutrition and sleep patterns as well as body measurements like heart rate.

Identified by hair found at the scene, Hussein refused to hand over the PIN code to his handset leaving investigating offers to bring in a cyber-forensics firm to crack the device.

“For the first time, we correlated health and geo-data,” chief of police Peter Egetemaier told the court.

Data collected from wearables and other devices have started finding their way into the courts, in March 2017, a man accused of murder called for Amazon Alexa recordings to prove his innocence and in April, data collected from a Fitbit contributed to a Connecticut murder investigation, drawing suspicion on the alibi of the lead suspect.

The trial in Germany continues as issues around the suspect's real age, thought to be as young as 17, complicate matters given that his age will play a role in sentencing.

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