Alexa, where were you on the night of December 26?
According to Engadget, police in Bentonville, Arkansas have issued a warrant for Amazon to turn over any information that might have been recorded on a suspect's Amazon Echo.
James Andrew Bates is set for trial next year for first-degree murder, and police believe some evidence regarding the murder of Victor Collins may be on his virtual assistant. Because the Echo is always ready for your commands, and occasionally turns on by accident, police think that crucial information may live on the device. Amazon has, thus far, not handed over anything on their Echo data servers, aside from purchase history.
“Police say Bates had several other smart home devices, including a water meter. That piece of tech shows that 140 gallons of water were used between 1AM and 3AM the night Collins was found dead in Bates' hot tub. Investigators allege the water was used to wash away evidence of what happened off of the patio. The examination of the water meter and the request for stored Echo information raises a bigger question about privacy. At a time when we have any number of devices tracking and automating."
However, Bates’ attorney believes her client is entitled to some privacy. "You have an expectation of privacy in your home, and I have a big problem that law enforcement can use the technology that advances our quality of life against us,” said defense attorney Kimberly Weber.
Will this turn into another full-blown privacy issue, like the one Apple underwent when the FBI wanted access to the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone?