Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case

- The Amazon Echo is one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. The smart device can recognize your voice and respond to commands.

Mike Prospero reviews technology for Tom's Guide. He says that the Echo is good at isolating the person who is speaking but it still picks up everything else. That means it could hear what is going on in the background.

That is why investigators in an Arkansas murder case want to know if data recorded using an Amazon Echo might help them solve their case. James Andrew Bates owns an Echo. He is accused of strangling and drowning a man in his hot tub.

Peter Frankel is a criminal defense lawyer in New York City not connected with the case. He said investigators apparently believe that some of the events that took place around the time of the Arkansas murder could have been recorded by the Amazon Echo. So authorities are going after those potential recordings just like they would data from a computer or phone or any other device a suspect owns.

Amazon says it won't release the Echo recordings without a warrant. In a statement Amazon said: "Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course."

These devices recognize your voice and recordings are kept in the cloud. That is why investigators are so interested in the data. It also raises a whole slew of new questions about technology and privacy. 

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