Alexa and the First Amendment

Arkansas Police Department is trying to get 48-hours of recordings of Echo owned by a murder victim. Amazon, however, is refusing to do so raising the First Amendment clause.

Quartz in a news piece titled Amazon Argues That Alexa Is Protected by the First Amendment in a Murder Trial says:

Alexa’s recordings and responses are subject to free speech protections under the US constitution’s bill of rights, and that prosecutors need to provide more evidence that this audio is essential to the case.

According to Amazon’s lawyers, Alexa recordings provide deep insights into the life of a user through its recordings and if law enforcement agencies are given access to it, it would be invasion of privacy. Now that the cat is out of the bag, Amazon now needs to explain to its users how secure voice controlled devices are from hackers? One cannot forget that many secure networks have been cracked in the past by efficient team of hackers.

Vishal Ingole, March 20, 2017