Hussein K. is on trial in the German city of Frieburg is on trial for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old student:
He refused to give authorities the passcode to his iPhone, but investigators hired a Munich company (which one is not publicly known) to gain access his device, according to German news outlet Welt. They searched through Apple’s Health app, which was added to all iPhones with the release of iOS 8 in 2014, and were able to gain more data about what he was doing that day. The app records how many steps he took and what kind of activity he was doing throughout that day.
The app recorded a portion of his activity as “climbing stairs,” which authorities were able to correlate with the time he would have dragged his victim down the river embankment, and then climbed back up. Freiburg police sent an investigator to the scene to replicate his movements, and sure enough, his Health app activity correlated with what was recorded on the defendant’s phone.
It’s unknown exactly what model of iPhone the defendant was using.
The topic of encryption and iPhones continues to be a hot topic. According to a separate Motherboard article, the FBI’s Stephen Flatley called Apple “evil geniuses” and “jerks” for continuing to improve the security of its devices.