A couple of months ago, we reported on a murder case which involved the prosecution to request access to data stored on an Amazon Echo. Initially, Amazon denied the request of the prosecution due to the company wanting to “protect the privacy rights of its customers”. The request was, in fact, denied twice, but Amazon has reversed its course.
The reason behind the change comes from the defendant. James Bates, who is accused of murder of a man found dead in his hot tub, granted Amazon permission to hand over the recordings of the Echo. Bates believes that the information obtained by the always-listening Echo will help acquit him of the charges.
The problem with this decision by Bates isn’t regarding his current line of charges, but instead leaves us wondering what companies such as Google and Amazon should do in the future. Should the companies be forced to share the information with either the Defense or Prosecution in a future case? Or would that be a violation of our privacy?
Hopefully, we won’t have to find out anytime soon, but this question is likely to arise again in the future. Let us know what you think about this in the comments below.