advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Alexa, who is the killer?

Alexa, who is the killer?
[Photo: Flickr user Guillermo Fernandes/Prathaan/iStock]

Authorities investigating a suspected double homicide in Farmington, New Hampshire, noticed an Amazon Echo in the home where two women were apparently killed, and a judge has now ordered Amazon to turn over three days’ worth of audio from the device, TechCrunch reports.

It’s unclear if the company has turned over the data. A search warrant also orders Amazon to turn over any data identifying phones paired with the device during that period.

Reached for comment, an Amazon spokesperson told Fast Company that the company does not release customer information without a “valid and binding legal demand served on us,” and that it objects to overly broad and inappropriate demands “as a matter of course.”

It’s not the first time Alexa data has come up in a potential murder case. Last year, Amazon objected to turning over recordings from around the time of a suspicious death in Bentonville, Arkansas, although the device owner ultimately agreed to turn over the data. Charges were dropped in that case, involving a 47-year-old man found dead in a friend’s hot tub after an apparent night of drinking.

Amazon and other smart speaker makers don’t release data specifically on court orders involving user audio, so it’s unclear if there have been more search warrants involving the devices. But as they and other recording equipment become more prevalent, it seems safe to assume it’s only a matter of time before one actually captures critical information to an investigation.

advertisement
advertisement