Careful What You Say, Alexa May Be Listening

Hands-free, voice-controlled, speaker is being called to the stand, raising bigger questions about IoT privacy.

An Amazon Alexa speaker device.

In a murder case unlike any other, Arkansas Police have issued a warrant for Amazon to hand over audio records from an Echo thought to be sitting at the scene of a crime. While it’s unclear what information the voice-activated device may have stored, Billy Steele from Engadget discusses the issue of home privacy that this case calls to question. Read the article here.

With smart technology all around us, automating our lives and tracking our every move, it’s hard to know what personal information will be designated as private in matters of criminal investigation. Technology that is “always-on” makes for intimate aspects of our lives, habits and daily conversations to be tracked, recorded and often stored.

In today’s technological landscape, you likely have several connected devices that unknowingly keep track of your daily routines. Consider a smart water alarm, a piece of technology that tracks and records time stamped water consumption, or a wireless security camera that sends alerts to your cell phone when something suspicious comes into view. Think about a connected smoke alarm that has the capability to alert and track the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide, or the iPhone GPS that tracks your weekly trips. While Arkansas defense attorney Kimberly Weber thinks, “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,” the courts may not agree.

Contact our Team of Certified Digital Forensic Examiners at Cornerstone Discovery today.



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