After noticing the Echo in Bates' kitchen, investigators requested a search warrant for all the audio recordings and data from the device, according to court records. Lawyers will have to sift though relevant state and federal laws and relevant Amazon Echo privacy T&Cs if some information does get prized from Amazon's cloud service. But police in Arkansas say it could help prove their case against this man, James bates, accused of killing his coworker, Victor Collins, found dead in bates' hot tub after a night of partying. Bates' attorneys characterize the death as an accident.
The Echo, which has seven microphones, responds when the user says a "wake word" which, in most cases, is "Alexa". "It is believed that these records are retained by Amazon.com and that they are evidence related to the case under investigation".
According to Smith, it is "incumbent on law enforcement officers" to examine data collected by Bates' Amazon device.
Nonetheless, the hot tub murder case is intriguing because it raises the question of how and when "always on" devices can be used to testify against us. For example, owners might ask Echo through Amazon's voice recognition program Alexa for a weather report or to play Mozart. Discussions have already been made with Amazon, but so far, the bulk of the request remains unfulfilled.
There were plenty of last-minute shoppers on Amazon Prime this year, with December 23 being the most popular day for Prime Now deliveries. "Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course", Amazon said in a statement provided to several news outlets.
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"It appears that prosecutors are kind of on a fishing expedition", "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty reported on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday. It also raises a whole slew of new questions about technology and privacy.
This week Amazon declined to offer the police access to a customer's Echo search results in conjunction with a murder in Arkansas. While Amazon does not save records of ambient conversations, anything you say to the speaker after activating it is stored on Amazon's servers.
Police were able to extract some data from Bates' Echo, although what the data is remains unclear, the report said.
Mr. Bates was charged with murder in February of this year, and the police has sought the information from Amazon as part of their ongoing investigation into the alleged murder.