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Voice Technology Systems in Litigation

Voice Technology Systems in Litigation

Voice Technology Systems in Litigation

Hello Billy….Voice Technology Systems in Litigation

With the advent of voice technology systems such as Amazon Echo, we must ask, what are the legal implications of a computer that is always listening? A recent article in The Economist suggests that voice technology systems may in some ways replace standard screen and keyboard computers. I.e. it is easier to communicate with a computer via voice recognition software than to type. Apparently as of Christmas 2016, 4% of American households had an Amazon Echo in their house. These are the devices that you can tell to do things, and they do it. However, the legal question is as follows:

If these devices are constantly listening, and the data they are absorbing is being sent to the cloud, then who should have access to that data. This is exactly the question being asked in a murder trial in Arkansas. An Amazon Echo is alleged to have captured voice data that could be essential evidence in this murder trial. Police have asked Amazon for the data. Amazon has in turn refused to give the data by arguing that the legal status of this data is unclear. Voice technology data will become increasingly important in the legal realm.

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