Amazon has refused to provide data from one of its Echo devices to the police in Arkansas. This comes after the authorities issued a warrant for the tech giant demanding audio and other data from the device belonging to James Andrew Bates, who will go to trial in 2017 for the murder of Victor Collins.
According to a report by The Information, Collins was found dead in Bates' hot tub. Investigators believe that the water was used to wash of any evidence of potential crime.
Although Amazon declined to provide police with any data from the Echo logged onto its company servers, the firm did hand over Bates' account information and a list of purchases made.
An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget, "Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course."
Arkansas police reportedly claim that they were able to gather data from the Echo's speakers, however, authorities are still unsure as to the value of the information accessed.
According to the authorities, Bates allegedly had multiple smart devices in his home, including a water meter, which allegedly showed that the hot tub in which Collins is believed to have drowned contained 140 gallons of water, between 1am and 3am, on the night of Collins' death.
The data handover demands made by the authorities has raised concerns over IoT privacy. Similar concerns were also raised by Bates' legal counsel. Defence attorney Kimberly Webe argued, "You have an expectation of privacy in your home, and I have a big problem that law enforcement can use the technology that advances our quality of life against us."