Arkansas Murder Charge in Amazon Echo Case
In 2015, James Bates (of Arkansas, United States) was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victor Collins. Collins was found floating face down in Bates’ hot tub in November 2015, police said. Amazon Echo entered the murder case because someone present on the night of Collins’ death recalled hearing music streaming through the device. It was widely reported that Amazon fought the prosecution’s request to hand over data recorded by the device that night. Eventually, the argument became moot as Bates voluntarily agreed to hand over the recordings. The case was, in the end, dismissed by a judge because there was not enough evidence to convict Bates “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
According to Amazon, is smart speaker, Echo is constantly listening for the wake word “Alexa” or “Amazon” (the user can also program it to respond to another word of their choice) by default, then records the user’s voice and transfers it to a processor for analysis so that it can fulfil requests or answer the user’s questions.
Sources: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/30/us/amazon-echo-arkansas-murder-case-dismissed/index.html and https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/12/28/507230487/as-we-leave-more-digital-tracks-amazon-echo-factors-in-murder-investigation?t=1557821352493