The FitBit Murderer

Nolen Cooper, Reporter

On September 25, 90 year old Anthony Aiello murdered his stepdaughter, 67 year old Karen Navarro. The object that secured him as the murderer was a FitBit Alta HR.

“I try to avoid having my location on, so apps, or other things don’t know where I am,” junior Melissa Rogge said.

The New York Times reported that Navarro’s room was splattered with blood and Navarro was found slumped over her dining room table with laceration in her neck and head, and a knife in her right hand. On her left hand was the FitBit Alta HR, it revealed a “significant spike” in her heart rate at 3:20 pm, it then followed with a “rapid slowing” of the heart rate. At 3:28 pm, the FitBit stopped transmitting data. This window time helped police find out it was Aiello, whose car was parked outside during those eight minutes.

“[FitBit tracking] can be good for monitoring heart problems, but also bad if they are finding out where you go during the day,” junior Jackson Fenner said.

Navarra’s death is not the first time a wearable fitness tracker helped solve the case. In  April 2017, a FitBit tracked Richard Dabate wife’s movements and Dabate’s version of the story didn’t line up with the tracked movement, which solidified him as the murderer.

“I don’t see why something like a tech company should know more about me than I know about myself,” Rogge said.

Some insurance companies such and UnitedHealthCare and Qualcomm allow employers access fitness data to receive rewards for hitting a certain step count everyday.

“Keeping the amount of steps and where you go on a private server [can help privacy issues],” sophomore John Auger said.

Strava, a social network for working out lets users share run data like, step count, time, distance, heart rate and the exact route you take. In January, Strava released a heat map showing the most popular places in the world to run/workout. Unfortunately, U.S. soldiers were using the app to track their fitness and accidentally revealed the base’s secret location.