Amazon’s Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help
find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police
in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something
that can help with a murder case. According to The
Information, authorities in Bentonville issued a warrant for
Amazon to hand over any audio or records from an Echo belonging to
James Andrew Bates. Bates is set to go to trial for first-degree
murder for the death of Victor Collins next year.
Amazon declined to give police any of the information that the
Echo logged on its servers, but it did hand over Bates’ account
details and purchases. Police say they were able to pull data off
of the speaker, but it’s unclear what info they were able to
access. Due to the so-called always on nature of the connected
device, the authorities are after any audio the speaker may have
picked up that night. Sure, the Echo is activated by certain
words, but it’s not uncommon for the IoT gadget to be alerted to
listen by accident.
This was inevitable.