Can something you ask Siri be used as evidence in court against you?

If you’re like us, you probably can’t get Siri to accurately tell you the weather – let alone how/where to hide a dead body. But a screenshot found on the phone of a Florida man on trial for murder shows Siri can answer that question.

Pedro Bravo was charged with murder on September 28, 2012 in connection with the death of his friend Christian Aguilar. Aguilar’s body was found in a shallow grave in a Levy County, Florida forest. He was strangled to death.

According to reports, police confirmed a screenshot found on Bravo’s phone from September 20, 2012 showed Siri had been asked, “I need to hide my roommate.” Siri apparently responded: “What kind of place are you looking for? Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps.” During a recent court appearance, Gainesville Police Department Detective Matt Goeckel also said Bravo’s phone flashlight was activated nine times and used for over 48 minutes on that date as well.

Many news outlets picked up this sensational story on Wednesday, and, as it turns out, most of the initial reports were wrong. Bravo and Aguilar were friends – not roommates, as was heavily reported. Furthermore, police clarified Goeckel did not testify Bravo asked Siri where to hide the body. Instead, a photo of such a request was found on his phone.

In a new report, the Miami CBS affiliate WBFS-TV explains how the confusion may have originated. While there was a screenshot on Bravo’s phone of a Siri inquiry, the inquiry did not originate from his phone:

On Tuesday, prosecutors showed a screen grab of Bravo’s iPhone which read “I need to hide my roommate.”

Bravo’s attorney pointed out the screen grab was among hundreds of pictures that were on Bravo’s phone and that the search may not have been initiated by his client.

“This is not evidence that he ever did an inquiry, looking for some information online for needing to hide his roommate,” Bravo’s attorney asked Gainesville police department Det. Matthew Goeckel who had taken the stand.

“Correct,” replied Goeckel.

On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat, and Stu did not have the most up-to-date information when they discussed the story, but the conversation is interesting and pertinent nonetheless. When you consider the power of technology in this day and age, it is incredible to think what kind of evidence could be collected from devices like smart phones and tablets in the future.

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“What’s incredible to me is how people are shocked by this,” Glenn said. “Of course this is what’s happening. Of course they have all of these things.”

When you consider the police were able find the screenshot of the Siri query, track when Bravo’s flashlight was turned on and off, and where/when his phone was active one can only imagine how dangerous such information could be if used for nefarious purposes.

“In this particular case, [it was used] in a good way,” Glenn concluded. “[But] remember, the government is starting to build the case that Tea Partiers are extremists. They’re already saying that’s the most dangerous thing out there – these constitutionalists and these Tea Party people… So we know who the bad guys are going to be in the future. It’s us.”