Alexa, Play My Alibi: The Smart Home Gets Taken to Court

As smart speakers for the home continue to grow in popularity, police departments have started to take notice. Now, whenever attorneys and law enforcement officials are investigating a crime, they can put your virtual assistant in the hot seat. They can cross-reference a variety of information from smart devices, including location data, audio recordings, and biometric data. Together, it can paint a picture of where a suspect was and when, often far more reliably than any human witness.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Sidney Fussell joins us to talk about the strange murder case where a smart speaker became the star witness. We also share tips about how to manage the privacy settings in your own smart tech.

Warning: This episode features a brief conversation about domestic violence and assault.

Show Notes

Read Sidney’s story about law enforcement collecting information from smart speakers here. Find more episodes of the Get WIRED podcast here.


Sidney recommends the show I May Destroy You on HBO. Lauren recommends Vanity Fair’s September issue, with a cover story about Breonna Taylor. Mike recommends the episode of the podcast Questlove Supreme with Bootsy Collins.

Sidney Fussell can be found on Twitter @SidneyFussell. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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