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Alexa Witnessing a Murder

By: Amanda Reichert

 

With the rather current release of the very popular Amazon Echo, over 5 million Echos have been sold to date. Amazon Echo has a voice-activated communication system that listens for her name, Alexa. When you say the word, Alexa records the conversation and streams it to the Cloud.

 

In November 2015, a man was found dead in Mr. James Bates’ hot-tub. Witnesses that evening reported hearing music playing from an Amazon Echo, which Mr. Bates happens to own. Bates’ attorneys state that the man’s death was a tragic accident, and there has yet to be a conviction. A hearing in March will be held for Bates.

 

Police in Benton County Arkansas requested the audio recording from Amazon for evidence of the murder. Amazon refused, stating that the Constitution protects questions directed at Alexa and any responses from Alexa.

 

Police forces are still working on getting the evidence before the trial in March. Will Amazon give in and hand in the recordings? Or will the courts rule in Amazon’s favor?

 

Sources:

 

“Alexa, can you help with this murder case?” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

 

Laura Hautala February 23, 2017 11:52 AM PST @lhautala. “Amazon argues Constitution protects your chats with Alexa.” CNET. N.p., 23 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.