iCloud connected home devices free game for criminal investigators

Image result for devices like amazon echo

also add water meters……………

Amazon Echo now an Expert Murder Witness ? (Forbes)

How much can police find out from a murderer’s Echo (Verge)

From the NYC Legal Aid Society.

Arkansas police asked Amazon to provide them with all audio files recorded by an Amazon Echo device owned by James Bates who has been charged with the 2015 murder of one of his friends inside Bates’ home. Amazon Echo devices record all spoken audio when users say a specific word or phrase—usually “Alexa”—and then transmit the sound recordings to a remote cloud-based server. A search warrant served on Amazon asked for all of Amazon’s data including Echo’s audio recordings. Amazon has agreed to provide the victim’s account holder information and purchase history but they have refused to share any information from its servers.

In addition to the Amazon Echo, Arkansas investigators are also using information from Bates’ smart home water meter, “alleging that an increase in water use in the middle of the night suggests a possible cleanup around the crime scene.” Privacy experts have raised concerns about the Arkansas investigation as well as other potential privacy violations associated with “smart” home devices. Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation noted, “Traditionally, the home has been the apex of 4th Amendment privacy protection in respect to law enforcement…The tricky thing about a device that’s recording data inside of your home is that you may be transmitting that recording in such a way that the government can directly collect it, or, as in the case we have in Arkansas, it may be that the data is sitting on Amazon’s servers.”

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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