A lack of privacy stands to derail voice controlled IoT systems.

Voice control and privacy; for devices such as Alexa and Google Home to become commonplace a lot of privacy concerns have to be addressed and raised.

Case in point, Alexa being used in a murder investigation in the USA. There, law enforcement are counting on the fact that Amazon’s storage of all voice conversations it records to Amazon’s servers are not anonymised.

Amazon’s Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something that can help with a murder case. According to The Information, authorities in Bentonville issued a warrant for Amazon to hand over any audio or records from an Echo belonging to James Andrew Bates. Bates is set to go to trial for first-degree murder for the death of Victor Collins next year…

Police say they were able to pull data off of the speaker, but it’s unclear what info they were able to access. Due to the so-called always on nature of the connected device, the authorities are after any audio the speaker may have picked up that night. Engadget

Watch this space. A lack of privacy and the idea that “they” are listening in to both our most private and banal moments has the potential to derail the take up of voice first, home control interfaces.