Privacy Concerns: Pacemaker Is Prime Evidence That Man Allegedly Set Fire to His House

First, Ross Compton says he didn’t do it. He pleaded not guilty to setting his home on fire, despite evidence authorities gathered from Compton’s pacemaker, STAT reports. Compton claims that when the fire started, he collected a lot of his belongings, stashed them in a suitcase and bags, broke a window with his cane and then threw them outside.

It couldn’t have happened that way, says a cardiologist who investigators talked to. According to the pacemaker’s monitoring of Compton’s heart, the cardiologist said it was “highly improbable” that Compton could have exerted himself that way in such a short period of time without the pacemaker noticing.

The case has raised privacy concerns. So, do you not get a needed pacemaker out of fear that Big Brother will be listening in on the beat? Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defense staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, tells STAT: “We as a society value our rights to maintain privacy over personal and medical information, and compelling citizens to turn over protected health data to law enforcement erodes those rights.”

Source: STAT