Amazon ordered to give up Echo recordings in murder case

Free

The Pie Whisperer
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 22, 2018
1,539
Neuken, America
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
May 2009
SLU Posts
55565
#1
Amazon must give up Echo recordings in double murder case, judge rules
According to local media accounts, Strafford County [NH] 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.

"Investigators believe Sullivan was attacked in the kitchen of 979 Meaderboro Road where the Echo was located, and prosecutors believe there is probable cause to believe there is evidence on the Echo, such as audio recordings of the attack and events that followed it," CBS Boston reported, citing court documents.
 

Rose Karuna

Crazy Cat Lady - borrowed pic from Xerdan
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 24, 2018
97
Someplace new soon
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
2007
#2

Dakota Tebaldi

Well-known member
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 19, 2018
513
Gulf Coast, USA
Joined SLU
02-22-2008
SLU Posts
16791
#3
While things like address books and contact lists have always been iffy to me and I think there's a legitimate need to question how much access if any governments should get to them, like an actual recording of a murder isn't something I would personally view as private data that needs to be protected. Especially when the owner is dead.

Like if someday I get an Amazon Echo and it records my murder I would want the police to use the f-word out of that if it can help to nail my killer. No reservations.
 

Caete

Scientist Lady of Science
Sep 20, 2018
122
20 Minutes into the future
SL Rez
2006
#4
Some of us don't go for gadgets that 'improve' our quality of life. You'll never find Alexa, Echo or anything like that in my household, no bluetooth enables thermostats, doorbells, doorknobs. No 'smart' TVs that want to connect to the internet for "firmware' updates, no fridge that tracks what I have in it etc. GPS disabled on my phones, tablets. I had the oldest van in the region for work as everyone wanted the newest because new = better until they discovered new = GPS tracking enabled. Guess which van was old enough to not only not have GPS installed but was suddenly in high demand to be given the keys for by a couple of coworkers..lol.

Just remember, anything that is voice activated is ALWAYS listening regardless of what they say, how else would it know to reply? Also many smart TVs have microphones...

I'm not a conspiracy type but having worked for 10 years on the tech side of a large cellular company, there is so much data being gathered behind the scenes and analyzed for usage patterns and demographics so marketing can target the right ads to the right people.

Here's a fun tip: We have a camera above the door of the store that points downwards, right at the area of carpeting that you would wipe your feet on and a bit around it. Its purpose is to count the people coming and going ie entering/leaving the area it watches and tracking what way they head off. This allows marketing to know what items to put in what spots that see the highest traffic and trigger the buying impulse.

Downside is they use those numbers to tell if a store is high traffic or not and why are they not making enough sales. I spent way too many hours on calls with district managers telling them you can't base it wholly on headcount through the area but had to look deeper than that base data to tell. The system just counts bodies, it has no idea if those 6 people that just came in are 6 individual customers or a family of 6 or even if it was 3 customers and 3 employees that came in. So to yell at store managers that they only sold 50 phones that day while traffic showed 450 people came in is gross mismanagement. That 450 counts employees, employees who open the door and escort customers out and come back in, families, kids running thru the spot etc.

Tech can be life enhancing and good but companies look for alternate revenue streams and how to best get the money from your wallet. Phone numbers are sold off in bundles to telemarketers. Mine was protected by the company until I was laid off, then I went from maybe 1 or 2 a year to 2 to 12 a day.

TL;DR: tomorrow is already here, you just haven't noticed it yet.
 

Fauve Aeon

🌽🐍Mostly Jellicle...🐍🌽
Oct 29, 2018
203
SL, Kitely, IMVU
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
Not sure of date/postcount
#5
We did an experiment to see if Cortana and Siri are listening...neither of us have any interest in tropical vacations nor have our fam or friends gone on one in many months...so it’s not something either of us search about or connect with/click ads for etc, no real connections online with any information on this topic. So here at home, I said something about Hawaii and sunny beaches and bingo, adverts on webpages the next day could be linked to that convo...Sandals resorts, beach wedding, resort fashion. Coincidence? I doubt it.
 

Tigger

not on speaking terms with the voices in my head
Sep 24, 2018
111
#6
You don't even need a court order to get recordings of your conversations sent to random people.

Amazon explains how Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to another user

These devices mystify me. Tech companies have show time and again that they can't be trusted, either deliberately misusing your information or getting hacked and still people stuff audio and visual 'spies' in their houses.

Even if they could be trusted I just don't get the use case for them.
 

Katheryne Helendale

🐱 Kitty Queen🐱
Sep 20, 2018
695
Right... Behind... You...
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
October 2009
#7
While I was immediately insistent on getting a remote controlled TV when I moved out on my own, I too don't get the use case for these smart speakers and other voice-activated home control devices. I mean, if I'm too lazy to get up and walk down the hall to check the thermostat or turn on a room light, then I've got problems. And I don't trust always-listening devices. I don't even have "OK Google" enabled on my phone!
 

Dakota Tebaldi

Well-known member
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 19, 2018
513
Gulf Coast, USA
Joined SLU
02-22-2008
SLU Posts
16791
#8
We did an experiment to see if Cortana and Siri are listening...neither of us have any interest in tropical vacations nor have our fam or friends gone on one in many months...so it’s not something either of us search about or connect with/click ads for etc, no real connections online with any information on this topic. So here at home, I said something about Hawaii and sunny beaches and bingo, adverts on webpages the next day could be linked to that convo...Sandals resorts, beach wedding, resort fashion. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Hmmmmm....but, beaches are a kind of vague topic and popular since winter just hit; it could be a lucky guess and based on other factors. You should try this experiment with something more specific....like talking a few times about how your Volkswagen really needs a new transmission, assuming you have neither a VW nor any transmission problems. Something off the wall but unmistakable like that.
 

Casey Pelous

Senior Discount
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 24, 2018
43
USA, upper left corner
SL Rez
2007
Joined SLU
February, 2011
SLU Posts
10461
#10
Hmmmmm....but, beaches are a kind of vague topic and popular since winter just hit; it could be a lucky guess and based on other factors. You should try this experiment with something more specific....like talking a few times about how your Volkswagen really needs a new transmission, assuming you have neither a VW nor any transmission problems. Something off the wall but unmistakable like that.
Ooh! Ooh! Pick me, pick me, I've got one!

I was fretting with a friend on the phone -- within earshot of Alexa -- about how I was going to get my cat fed while I was traveling for a couple of weeks. Waddaya think Amazon oh-so-helpfully-and-totally-at-random suggested for me the next time I logged on?


Alexa spends a lot of time unplugged now.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

Well-known member
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 19, 2018
513
Gulf Coast, USA
Joined SLU
02-22-2008
SLU Posts
16791
#11
Ooh! Ooh! Pick me, pick me, I've got one!

I was fretting with a friend on the phone -- within earshot of Alexa -- about how I was going to get my cat fed while I was traveling for a couple of weeks. Waddaya think Amazon oh-so-helpfully-and-totally-at-random suggested for me the next time I logged on?


Alexa spends a lot of time unplugged now.
Thaaaat's creepy.

My Cortana doesn't do that. I presume she's prolly listening too, but if she is, she's just keeping everything in a little black book I guess.
 

Beebo Brink

Resident Grouch
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 20, 2018
183
#12
Threads like this remind me why it's just as well I can't use voice-activated devices. I love tech geegaws enough that I might be tempted beyond my good judgement, but in this particular area, I'm shit out of luck. My voice doesn't carry far enough or clearly enough to use the room units. I've tried Siri on my phone a few times -- asking her to call home while I'm driving -- but even with the phone near my face it's only 50/50 chance she'll understand me.
 
Sep 19, 2018
308
NJ suburb of Philly
SL Rez
2003
SLU Posts
4494
#13
The only voice activation I use is when driving with my phone. It is useful sometimes with google maps to be able to say, "OK google, navigate to home" (or wherever) when speeding down the highway at 70 mph.
 

Rose Karuna

Crazy Cat Lady - borrowed pic from Xerdan
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Sep 24, 2018
97
Someplace new soon
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
2007
#14
Threads like this remind me why it's just as well I can't use voice-activated devices. I love tech geegaws enough that I might be tempted beyond my good judgement, but in this particular area, I'm shit out of luck. My voice doesn't carry far enough or clearly enough to use the room units. I've tried Siri on my phone a few times -- asking her to call home while I'm driving -- but even with the phone near my face it's only 50/50 chance she'll understand me.
I've completely disabled Siri on my phone because my voice or my accent are so bad apparently, that nothing inhuman can understand me, not even those automated phone systems. I go crazy when they don't offer the option to enter account numbers because I'll keep repeating the numbers and it will keep saying that it can't understand me. :mad: Even more annoying, my husband will walk into the room and say the number into the phone system and it will understand him perfectly. :poop:

Same thing with Siri but Siri was even worse because, invariably, every time I was in a meeting and tried to sneak a peak at my phone that damn Siri would come on and ask me what I wanted. :mad::mad::mad:

So I understand your pain. OTOH, I don't like having cameras or listening devices in my house anyway so this gives me a good excuse to keep my techie husband from ordering something like Alexa. :devilish:
 

Fauve Aeon

🌽🐍Mostly Jellicle...🐍🌽
Oct 29, 2018
203
SL, Kitely, IMVU
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
Not sure of date/postcount
#15
On a totally random note, I can switch Siri’s language to French and see how well he understands me in a conversational way and that coupled with the speech-to-text feature on my iPad lets me know which words I need to tighten up.
My sweetie thinks it’s funny that I changed my Siri voice to the male British voice. 😜
So yep, I still use him but now I know to put the devices in the other room when it’s time to whisper about the Total World Domination plots etc.
 
Sep 23, 2018
82
#17
Yeah no the whole idea of Alexa struck me as weird, and it wasn't even out that long before stories of it recording conversations and sending it to people which pretty much killed any possibility of me wanting one. Half the time when I try to use Siri's voice system - she doesn't understand WTF I said anyway.

It seems like we give away more and more of our privacy in the name of these gizmos and gadgets, and I just read somewhere that privacy is necessary for freedom to exist - and I kind of agree with that.