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Amazon Echo murder case raises IoT privacy questions for enterprise users

Image: CNET

The Amazon Echo personal assistant may have a new title that raises privacy concerns for consumers and business users: Murder witness.

Police investigating a murder in Bentonville, AR, recently filed a search warrant asking Amazon to provide "electronic data in the form of audio recordings, transcribed words, text records and other data" from the Echo. The case began when an Arkansas man named Victor Collins was found dead in November 2015 in a hot tub at the home of James Bates, and a detective from the Bentonville Police Department found an Amazon Echo on the kitchen counter.

Bates was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in February 2016, and police said they believe the device may have recorded more useful evidence about the events of the evening, the New York Times reported.

The Echo is always listening for a command word (often "Alexa"). The device records what is said after this activation until the request has been processed, and streams it to...(continued)

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