The popular digital home assistant, the Amazon Echo, affectionately known as Alexa, is being asked by law enforcement to help solve the murder of a Bentonville, Arkansas man. Well, Alexa isn't really being asked anything. Rather, police have obtained a warrant requesting Amazon to turn over information and data that the murder suspect's device may contain regarding the murder.
Police believe that the device may have collected some critical data as a result of the device's "always listening" programming. The Amazon Echo is equipped with several microphones that are always on (so long as the device is on). Those microphones are constantly listening for commands. When the device hears one of the commands, it sends an audio recording to a server where it is transcribed and saved, and data is sent back confirming the response or action the device should take.