Archive for the ‘amazon echo’ Category

Illinois bill banning eavesdropping by IoT devices defanged by tech lobby

April 11th, 2019
Illinois' Senate had a bill that would ban devices from eavesdropping without telling you. But the Internet Alliance made sure the bill as passed would have no teeth.

Enlarge / Illinois' Senate had a bill that would ban devices from eavesdropping without telling you. But the Internet Alliance made sure the bill as passed would have no teeth. (credit: NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

On April 10, the Illinois State Senate passed the "Keep Internet Devices Safe Act," a bill that would ban Internet device manufacturers from collecting audio from Internet-connected devices without disclosing it to consumers. But the bill was substantially neutered after a fierce lobbying effort by an industry association backed by Amazon and Google.

The bill passed on the heels of Amazon's admission that the company sometimes sends copies of audio clips captured by its Echo devices to offices around the world for transcription by employees—something not mentioned in Echo's terms of service or FAQ pages.

The bill as passed by the Senate states:

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Amazon must give up Echo recordings in double murder case, judge rules

November 10th, 2018
Close-up of the base of an Amazon Echo smart speaker using the Alexa service, with Amazon logo visible, on a light wooden surface, San Ramon, California, May 31, 2018.

Enlarge / Close-up of the base of an Amazon Echo smart speaker using the Alexa service, with Amazon logo visible, on a light wooden surface, San Ramon, California, May 31, 2018. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

On Friday, a local judge in New Hampshire ordered Amazon to hand over Echo recordings made the day a Farmington couple was murdered at their home.

According to local media accounts, Strafford County Superior Court Presiding Justice Steven M. Houran compelled Amazon to disclose not only the audio files but any associated data—such as what phones were paired to the smart speaker—that may be connected to the January 2017 murder of Christine Sullivan and Jenna Pellegrini.

Prosecutors say the women were murdered by Timothy Verrill, who is due to stand trial in May 2019. Verrill has pleaded not guilty. Authorities have previously noted that the bodies of the women were found stabbed to death under a tarp, with a knife buried nearby.

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Posted in amazon, amazon echo, murder, Policy | Comments (0)