Amazon has released audio recorded by its smart speaker Echo and home assistant Alexa, as potentially crucial evidence in an Arkansas murder case at the behest of the defendant and owner of the device.
With the home assistant always on and attuned to what people in the household are saying, one man has reached out to the company to provide the court with his home's recordings. The AP reports James Andrew Bates stands accused of first degree murder of a Victor Collins, a man found dead in the accused’s hot tub in November 2015.
Bates denies killing Collins and has reached out to Amazon to release audio recordings from the night. Amazon has honoured the subpoena and provided the snippets of audio Alexa captured on Friday to the court.
The court will convene tomorrow (8 March) to discuss whether the evidence is relevant to the case. It will be a leading example of a smart device providing evidence in a criminal case. It also opens up a consumer privacy debate, which Amazon looked to be on the correct side of by initially fighting the subpoena, before eventually buckling at the behest of the Echo owner.
In other Amazon news, earlier today (Tuesday 7 March) Amazon revealed an update to its Twitch video streaming platform, turning the homepage into a feed reminiscent of Twitter.