Some people have wondered if smart speakers like Amazon s Echo devices, or its closest contender, the Google Home, are constantly capturing audio data, rather than just listening when the right wake word is uttered.
Now a court case is bringing the issue to the fore, and it could potentially show whether that s actually happening.The case, involving the investigation of a homicide in Bentonville, Arkansas, was unearthed earlier today The Information.
Hat tip to ZDNet s Zach Whittaker for subsequently locating the case s documents.The original affidavit for a search warrant from Bentonville Police Detective Corporal Josh Woodhams clearly conveys uncertainty when it comes to what exactly the speakers record:To be clear, the Echo does have a mute button, which you can press if you don t want the device to listen.
This is also true of the Echo s smaller siblings, as well as the Google Home.
And both Amazon and Google allow users to delete voice recordings.
But consumers can only take companies at their word when they say the devices absolutely do not record when they are muted and have not been triggered with a wake word.