Alexa Speaks Up

Amazon has finally responded to the subpoena in the murder trial I wrote about here. I hadn't really thought about it, but it makes total sense that Amazon would argue this from a First Amendment perspective. They obviously aren't going to go into court arguing that the data they have should hardly be considered reliable enough to be used in court. I understand this isn't actually how their framing it, but it's kinda adorable to think of Alexa as getting first amendment rights.

For more than a year, Amazon delayed. But on Feb. 17, it filed a motion seeking to quash the warrant. “Given the important First Amendment and privacy implications at stake, the warrant should be quashed unless the Court finds that the State has met its heightened burden for compelled production of such materials,” the filing reads. In a supporting document, the company argues that it “does not seek to obstruct any lawful investigation but rather seeks to protect the privacy rights of its customers when the government is seeking their data from Amazon.”

While that should be the most important part of their argument, it's the following that I worry will actually get them the most sympathy with the judge.

“Amazon customers have expressed concern about disclosure of their purchase choices and have indicated a reluctance to use Amazon for online purchasing if their privacy is not protected,” it added.