Yes, we know that the heading seems shocking to a lot of you. But this is true. A murder took place in Bentonville, Arkansas. And now the police will take the help of Amazon Echo to prosecute the suspected murderer. Now this is such an incident that will let us know how a smart home device will assist in solving crimes. Before we come into technological aspects, let us know in brief about what happened. The person charged with first-degree murder is James Andrew Bates. And the person found dead was Victor Collins. The murder took place in November 2015. Bates owned a few connected smart home devices. It includes a Nest Thermostat, a Honeywell alarm system and an Amazon Echo.
Help of Amazon Echo
We know that Amazon Echo can record and react to voice. The police issued a warrant to Amazon to retrieve the audio files, transcribed files and any other text records used by Bates. The police also got a lot of information from the subscriber information and purchase history. But Amazon has not disclosed the data yet. But police extracted the data from it independently. The Echo has some local storage, but Amazon is not prepared to help them. The reason according to Amazon is:
[quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate claims as a matter of course.[/quotes]
Just say Alexa
Also, Amazon said that the Echo would only start recording when the word “Alexa” is spoken. Thus, it can be said that the smart devices are becoming critical for the police investigations. The users will also have the option of playing back the video from the Alexa app. It proves that Amazon knows everything that you are telling to Echo. And for the privacy issues, the Echo also has a physical mute button that will turn the microphone off. Amazon can have access to the users of Echo and listen to the recordings, but that can be muted by the users.
So, there is help from Amazon Echo for the police investigations. The device can be activated during any criminal activities by someone to let others know what is happening. It also serves as a form of security to the users. So the next time you say or do in someone’s house, you need to be careful.